By BERNIE BELLAN In other article on this website I’ve been delving into results of the 2021 census. That census stands apart from all previous censuses in the way it asked the question about ethnic origin. As I noted in my article in the Nov. 9 issue, the question about ethnic origin was the same as it had been on previous censuses: “What were the ethnic or cultural origins of this person’s ancestors?”
That question was followed by a further explanation:
“Ancestors may have Indigenous origins, or origins that refer to different countries, or other origins that may not refer to different countries.”
Where the 2021 census departed from previous censuses, however, was that instead of giving a list of possible answers, to which respondents were asked either to check off one – or to write in an answer, this time respondents were given a list of 500 “examples” of ethnic origin, and asked to write in one or more answers.
Now, while 10,700 respondents listed “Jewish” as at least one of their ethnic origins, as I noted in my Nov. 23 article on the subject, only 6,700 respondents reported both their religion and their ethnic origin as Jewish.
Yet, 11,700 respondents noted that their religion was “Jewish.” If they didn’t report “Jewish” as one of their ethnic origins, what did they report? Following is a list of almost all the different ethnic origins for individuals who reported their religion as “Jewish.” (I’ve left out some of the more general responses, such as “European,” because that just wasn’t specific enough to give a good idea where in Europe that person’s ancestors were from. I’ve included responses which would not be considered ethnic groups, such as Caucasian, Christian, and Coptic. Also, 25 respondents listed “Manitoban” as an ethnic origin.
I’m not sure how useful the report about ethnic origin is since respondents were able to go very far back in reporting their ethnic origins – if they so wished to do.
In the end, if you peruse this list, I’m sure you’ll be impressed, however, by how diverse the ethnic backgrounds are of individuals who said their religion was Jewish. (The order in which I’ve listed ethnic origins, by the way, is the same order given in the table that was sent to me by statcan.)
South African 30