Broad trends versus local changes - Scale matters!

Date: February 23, 2023

Author: Danielle Letang, ROI Data Analyst

ROI recently published a factsheet about Racial Diversity in rural Ontario. While the numbers showed that racial diversity did not increase for rural Ontario as a whole since 2016, some rural communities saw significant change. 

In 2021, racialized people made up more than 10% of the population in nine rural communities. We compared the proportions of racialized people in these communities between 2016 and 2021 (Table 1). And we found that the proportion of racialized people has actually increased in eight of these communities since 2016.  

This insight may have been overlooked without closer examination. Given this information, these communities can investigate why their situation differs from the overall trend for rural Ontario. Observing rural and urban trends in Ontario is helpful, but it is also important to explore if large-scale trends are reflected in communities or regions.  

We encourage you to explore ROI’s Society Dashboard, which enables you to view data for individual communities, along with groupings of communities within Census Divisions and Economic Regions. In the future, we plan to add historical data to these dashboards to enable comparisons between census years. 

Table 1. Change in racialized population for selection of rural communities. 

Community Proportion of racialized people 
2016 2021
Shelburne 17% 29%
Grand Valley 5% 16%
Woodstock 5% 13%
Amaranth 7% 12%
Southgate 2% 12%
Deep River 13% 11%
East Garafraxa 6% 11%
Terrace Bay 6% 10%
Pickle Lake 5% 10%