Stats Can Says LGBT2Q+ Population Is On the Rise, But So Are Hate Crimes

Written on 06/18/2021
Staff Columnist

In a recent report, Statistics Canada identified that the country's LGBTQ population is on the rise, but so are hate crimes – CBC News reports.

Canada is approaching one million people who identify as members of the queer community, including people 25 and under representing a disproportionate part of the LGBTQ population.

The report aims to depict the country's LGBTQ population in recognition of Pride Month. StatsCan has been collecting the data since 2003, and it shows that the LGBTQ population is primarily young people.

Roughly 30 percent of LGBTQ Canadians are in the 15-24 age bracket, representing just 14 percent of the non-LGBTQ population.

Seven percent of the country's LGBTQ population is 65+, with people in the same age range representing 21 percent of the non-LGBTQ population.

Statistics Canada also mentions important points in LGBTQ history since the beginning of the 21st century. It recalls the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2006 and new laws to protect gender identity written into the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The organization went on to say that those changes nourished the growth in the number of same-sex couples. In the decade after same-sex marriage was legalized, the number of same-sex couples grew by 60.7 percent.

"This increase may be reflective, at least in part, of growing awareness and acceptance of sexual diversity in Canada," said the report.

Although the LGBTQ population continues to expand, the report highlighted that violence toward the community has risen too. Police reported 263 hate crimes against queer people in 2019, a 41 percent climb from the year before and a peak number since 2009 – and more than half were violent crimes.

During the pandemic, people aged 15-24 had the highest number of job loss, " is likely that [LGBTQ] Canadians may be disproportionately affected by job loss during the pandemic," the report said.

StatsCan also pointed out that LGBTQ folks have lower average incomes than non-LGBTQ people: $39,000 versus $58,000. The difference could be that young people, who are not usually high-earners, make up a large portion of that population.

Statistics Canada said it intends to take its reporting on Canada's LGBTQ population up a notch, including by giving more of its attention to transgender people.

This year's census asked respondents what their assigned sex was at birth and asked what 'gender' they identify as.  "This two-step approach will allow Statistics Canada to have reliable data on the trans population, including the gender non-binary population, and to help address information gaps about gender diversity in Canada," the report added.

(Image Credit: John Raoux/AP)