Statistics Canada
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Visible minority of person


Visible minority of person was approved as a departmental standard on June 15, 2009.


Visible minority refers to whether a person belongs to a visible minority group as defined by the Employment Equity Act and, if so, the visible minority group to which the person belongs. The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as "persons, other than Aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". The visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups: Chinese, South Asian, Black, Arab, West Asian, Filipino, Southeast Asian, Latin American, Japanese and Korean.

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programmes.


Visible minority is derived. It is derived from information on Population group and Aboriginal group. Respondents who report being Aboriginal are included in the category "Not a visible minority". All other respondents are classified according to their Population group.

Relation to previous standard

This standard is compatible with the previous standard except that Arab and West Asian are now separate categories whereas previously they were combined.

Conformity to relevant internationally recognized standards

There are no comparable internationally recognized standards since this variable measures a concept that is defined in Canadian legislation, specifically, the Employment Equity Act.