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The Impact of Discrimination on the Black Population in Canada

Discrimination or unfair treatment refers to treating individuals differently, negatively, or adversely based on their race, age, religion, sex, or other characteristics. According to data from the 2020 General Social Survey on Social Identity, 58% of Black individuals aged 15 years or older reported experiencing discrimination in the five years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 50% of Black respondents reported facing discrimination due to their race or color, and 27% due to their ethnicity or culture.

In the five years before the COVID-19 pandemic, 55% of Black individuals reported encountering discrimination in the workplace or when applying for a job or promotion; 51% in commercial establishments like stores, banks, or restaurants; and 27% while attending school or classes. These statistics highlight the pervasive nature of discrimination faced by Black individuals in various aspects of their lives.

During the initial year of the pandemic, Black individuals were 8.4 times more likely to report being victims of ethnic or racial discrimination compared to the non-racialized population. This alarming disparity underscores the heightened vulnerability of Black communities to discriminatory practices during times of crisis and emphasizes the urgent need for targeted interventions to address systemic inequalities and promote social justice and inclusivity.


  • Experience(s) of discrimination, reason(s) and context(s) of discrimination, 5 years before and since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, by groups designated as visible minorities and selected sociodemographic characteristics, 2020
  • Discrimination before and since the start of the pandemic
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