Some people in Vancouver would never, ever, ever visit Halifax and it makes me pause for a moment. I suppose it is equally true that I will never, ever, ever make it to Pangnirtung or even a less exotic location… like Lloydminster, however open to those cities I might be. Hmmm.
Sometimes I get tired of people’s feigned interest in Halifax when I say that’s where I’m from, followed by them saying, “I’d like to visit sometime.” (Sure you do.) And I get slightly offended by the head-in-the-sand question that I usually get asked, “How many Chinese people are there in Halifax? Ten?”
“Well, actually, there are about 2,000,” I usually respond using data that is surely from a 1980s national census and they pause. 2,000 Chinese people is easily more than I’ve known in several cities combined.
Then I had the occasion to poke around the Stat Can website, particularly the Ethnic Origin and Visible Minorities area, and I took a side trip to look up 2006 census data regarding my favourite and loathed question.
There are 3,105 Chinese people in Halifax alone. I think in my life, I only knew about 500… and that’s including Computer Science grad school that felt like it was 75% Chinese.
You can refer to my Google spreadsheet, “Chinese in Canada” but here are my narcissistic and statistically-unsound comments:
- Vancouver is 18% Chinese while Toronto is 9.5% Chinese. All along, I have been quoting 25% and 10% for the two cities. Toronto’s composition is much more uniform amongst visible minorities while I cannot say the same is true in Vancouver. The difference is palpable and I love/like each city for its demographics.
- Halifax doesn’t even have 1% Chinese. Pathetic. No wonder I had to leave.
- The female-male ratio amongst Halifax Chinese (1.22) seems significantly different and higher than that in Vancouver (1.08) and Toronto (1.08). It makes me wonder why that happened.
- With just 1,395 Chinese males in Halifax, how many do you suppose were in my age category? (I think I saw that data but did not copy it.) And then how many (or none) was I bound to get along with and marry? It’s no wonder I had to leave.
I’ll stop before having to explain myself too much and just call this justification, much later than the fact, for leaving Halifax.