Visible minority of person

Status: This was the departmental standard from June 15, 2009 to October 18, 2015.


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.

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.


Relation to previous version

  • Visible minority of person October 19, 2015 to current

    This standard has been updated by moving the category derivations from the classification to the main derivation note.

  • Visible minority of person June 15, 2009 to October 18, 2015

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

  • Visible minority July 15, 1998 to June 14, 2009

    This was the departmental standard from July 15, 1998 to June 14, 2009.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: