Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Statistics from the 1901 and 1911 Census in Ontario

Now that Ancestry have made an index of the 1901 Canadian census available online, complementing 1911 which has been available for some months, there is an opportunity to look at statistics on changes that occurred. Before anyone howls, yes I realize there are significant problems with the census data and the indexing. The statistics derived will undoubtedly exhibit problems and must be treated with appropriate caution. [End of obligatory academic caution.]

As background for a presentation next year I've been scanning these Ancestry databases for Ontario population trends. Its never been so easy to examine these statistics before, thanks to the availability through Ancestry and the Exact Search specifying the total count.

This was a period of massive immigration, and despite the federal government encouraging settlement in the "Last Best West" many did make Ontario their home. The Province's population increased from 2.2 million to 2.5 million. An extra 108,000 are shown as born in England (searched as Eng*) in 1911 compared to 1901; 15,000 additional born in Scotland (Scot*); 1,500 in Wales; and there was a decrease of over 19,000 born in Ireland (Ire*). The latter likely reflects the death of many Irish immigrants who came well before Confederation. The trend for the Irish-born was especially noticeable for York, Peterborough and Carleton counties, less so for Middlesex or Essex.

The trend for the Scottish-born is less systematic. Scots-born continued to represent the same fraction of the population in all five counties within about one percent.

By contrast the English-born fraction of the population boomed, most noticeably in York where it increased by more than 10%. Carleton and Peterborough saw 4% population share increases for the English-born. There was a 1% increase in Essex and hardly any change in Middlesex.

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