One of the more interesting tools that I have used for understanding the ethnic and racial composition of Canadian cities in the postwar era is called City Stats. Billed as a tool “designed to encourage the use of measures of residential segregation in Canadian urban history,” it allows the user to run calculations, from the basic to the complex, to understand segregation better in one, several, or all urban areas in Canada.
For my own part, I first encountered the tool a few years back when I was making an attempt to understand Ottawa’s Italian community and how concentrated (or not) it may or may not have been.
To provide a general overview of Ottawa-Hull in 1961, I have reproduced the Table 1 data below. I should note that, like City Stats, I have retained the terms for the various groups used by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics.
|Native Indian - Non Band||158||0.04%||0.4494|
|Native Indian - Band||96||0.02%||0.6107|
|Other British Isles||35||0.01%||0.8005|
For an explanation of the data in Table 1:
Table 1: Group Totals, Percentages, and Index of Dissimilarity (D)
This table includes the population totals and percentages for each ethnic group in the selected city, in accordance with the census categories available in the data for that year.*
In addition, Table 1 provides scores for the Index of Dissimilarity (D) for each group. D is the statistic most commonly used to measure segregation. It indicates the degree to which a group is evenly (or unevenly) distributed across the census tracts in a given city. D measures evenness by comparing a group’s representation within individual census tracts to its representation in the city as a whole. The measure produces a number between 0 and 1 that can be interpreted as the proportion of the group’s population that would need to change their area of residence to achieve an even distribution across all tracts. For example, people reporting German origins in Toronto in 1971 had a result of 0.1707, meaning that just over 17% of Germans would have had to relocate for the population to be spread evenly across the city. In contrast, people reporting Jewish origins in Toronto in 1971 had a score of 0.7241, meaning that over 72% would have had to relocate. Jews were significantly more segregated in Toronto in 1971 than people of German origins.
For a more complete explanation of the tool, see Jordan Stanger-Ross. “Citystats and the History of Community and Segregation in Post-Second World War Urban Canada,” Journal of the Canadian Historical Association 19, no. 2 (2008): 3-22.