THUNDER BAY – Statistics Canada is offering a look toward Thunder Bay’s future. Stats Can reports that by 2031, the Aboriginal population of Thunder Bay is projected to be as large as 15 per cent of the total population of the city. All growth scenarios considered, the Aboriginal identity population in Canada could be between 1.7 million and 2.2 million by 2031, representing between 4.0% and 5.3% of the total population.
The average annual growth rate of the Aboriginal identity population as a whole during this period would be between 1.1% and 2.2%, compared with 1.0% for the non-Aboriginal population.
Between 36% and 40% of Aboriginal people would live in a census metropolitan area in 2031, compared with nearly three-quarters of non-Aboriginal people. About 34% of Aboriginal people were living in a census metropolitan area in 2006.
Among census metropolitan areas, the proportion of Aboriginal people could vary between less than 1% and 15%. In 2031, Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Greater Sudbury, Saskatoon and Regina would have the largest proportions while Toronto would have the smallest proportion.
Statistics Canada reports, “There were 10,055 Aboriginal people living in the CMA of Thunder Bay in 2006, making up 8% of the city’s total population. By way of comparison, Toronto had the largest Aboriginal population (26,575) of any city in Ontario, and Kenora had the largest concentration of Aboriginal people of any city in Ontario (16%).
“Between 2001 and 2006, the Aboriginal population in Thunder Bay grew by a 23%, from 8,200 to 10,055 people. The First Nations population grew by 22%, while the Métis grew by 32%.”