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Black Youth in Canada: An Update From the 2021 Census


Promoting greater equity and prosperity and addressing the systemic and institutional barriers Black youth continue to face is vital for promoting more positive labour market outcomes.

There have been some demographic and labour market changes for Black youth in Canada in

recent years. Despite this, Black youth continue to experience disparities in employment

compared to their non-Black peers.


Black youth are a growing presence within their age-group. The number of Black youth aged 15

to 24 in Canada grew by 23% from 2016 to 2021; also increasing the share of Black youth

among those aged 15 to 24 in Canada – going from 1 in 25 to about 1 in 17.


A substantial percentage of Black youth today were born outside Canada. Among Black youth,

just a little over half (53.6%) were born in Canada, including 10.6% who were at least third

generation Canadians.


In addition, 11.4% of Black youth are currently in Canada as a temporary worker, international student, or refugee.


Black youth have immigrated to Canada from three world regions in significant numbers. Among

Black youth born outside of Canada, two-thirds were from Africa, while the Americas were the

next most common region, followed by Europe.


In terms of employment outcomes for Black youth, similar to 2016, Black youth in 2021

continued to face disparities in employment compared to their non-Black peers.


For example, in both years, Black youth experienced a higher unemployment rate compared to their non-Black peers. Among Black youth, those with a Bachelor’s degree had a lower unemployment rate

compared to those with a high school diploma.


However, the unemployment rate for Black youth with a Bachelor’s degree was comparable to that of White youth with a high school diploma. The unemployment rate for Black youth in 2021 increased from five years earlier, just like it did for all youth.


While the increase in unemployment between 2021 and 2016 for Black youth was not as great as compared to their non-Black peers, the disparity in unemployment rates between Black youth and non-Black youth still prevailed in 2021.


Hence promoting greater equity and prosperity and addressing the systemic and institutional barriers Black youth continue to face is vital for promoting more positive labour market outcomes.


Read more about Black youth in Canada from the 2021 census in CCYP's latest Snapshot data report.





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