Canada's Métis & Non-Status Indian Population Fact Sheet

According to 2001 Census, of the 976,305 people identifying themselves as members of at least one of Canada's Aboriginal groups 291,000 identified as Métis[Note 1] and 104,000 as Non-status Indians. 

For 2007, projections (based on 2001 Census data) for the Métis population are expected to reach nearly 300,000 and for Non-Status Indians, just over 126,000.[Note 2] This represents a growth rate of 9% and 14% respectively.  The growth for the Métis can be attributed to a number of common demographic factors, such as: fertility, mortality and migration.  Another important growth factor for this population is “ethnic mobility”. Ethnic mobility occurs when individuals change the reporting of their ethnic/cultural affiliation from one census to the next, e.g. from a non-Aboriginal identity to an Aboriginal one, e.g. to Métis. 

Both the Métis and non-Status Indian populations are very young.  It is projected that, in 2007, 26%  and 37% of these two populations will be under the age of 15, which is more than double the projected share for the total Canadian population.

A socio-economic overview

Métis and Non-Status Indian populations changed residences within their community or moved between communities in the year before the 2001.  For example, 22% of Métis and 25% of Non-Status Indians reported moving within one year, compared to one in eight non-Aboriginal people.  This high rate of mobility creates certain challenges for accessing and providing services such as education, employment training and housing.

In 2001, unlike their registered Indian counterparts who have more women (55%) than men (45%) residing off reserves, Métis and Non-Status Indians both have a more balanced gender ratio in non-reserve locations.

Socio-economic indicators such as school attendance, post-secondary completion, employment, and income levels for Canada's Métis and Non-Status Indian populations are still lagging their non-Aboriginal counterparts.

Selected Indicators Métis population Non-Status Indian population Non-Aboriginal population
% of population aged 15-19 < high school 23% 24% 15%
% of population aged 25-44 with university degree 7% 6% 22%
Employment rate (aged 15+) 60% 56% 62%
Unemployment rate (aged 15+) 14% 15% 7%
Average total income (all sources) $   22,395 $   21,460 $   30,060
Average employment (full time) income $   33,822 $   33,978 $  42,619
% receiving government transfer payments 15% 16% 12%

SOURCE: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census, custom tabulations.

 

Age & Gender Distribution for the Métis, Non-Status Indian Populations in 2007 and Non-Aboriginal Population in 2006, Canada

Age & Gender Distribution for the Métis, Non-Status Indian Populations in 2007 and Non-Aboriginal Population in 2006, Canada

Age & Gender Distribution for the Métis, Non-Status Indian Populations in 2007 and Non-Aboriginal Population in 2006, Canada

SOURCES: Statistics Canada, 2006 Population Projections; Statistics Canada, Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories 2005-2031  Table 8.1.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, «Aboriginal Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Regions: 2001 – 2026», prepared by Stewart Clatworthy, Four Directions Project Consultant, September, 2006

Footnotes:

  1. The Métis count includes about 30,000 Métis who also have legal Indian status, according to the Indian Act of Canada. These are likely Métis woman who would have gained Indian status through marriage to a status Indian man prior to 1985 and their offspring.(return to source paragraph...)

  2. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, «Aboriginal Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Regions: 2001 – 2026» (forthcoming 2007). Note the growth rates are based on 2001 Census counts adjusted for undercoverage and other factors.(return to source paragraph...)