Everyday Discrimination in Canada: Prevalence and Patterns

Jenny Godley


Using nationally representative data from the 2013 Canadian Community Health Survey, this article examines the prevalence and patterning of self-reported everyday discrimination in Canada. Almost twenty-three percent of Canadians report experiencing everyday discrimination. The most common types reported are gender, age, and race, followed by discrimination based on physical characteristics such as weight. Sex, age, marital status, race, place of birth, and body mass index all contribute to individuals’ reported experiences of discrimination. Gay men report particularly high levels of discrimination based on sexual orientation; Blacks, Asians, and Aboriginals report particularly high levels of racial discrimination; and Arabs, South and West Asians, and Aboriginals report particularly high levels of religious discrimination. There is strong evidence of the persistence of everyday discrimination in Canada, across multiple social groups, despite legal protections for marginalized groups. Suggestions are made for addressing the roots of discrimination at both the individual and the collective levels.


Discrimination; Sex; Age; Race; Sexual Orientation; Religion; Weight Bias

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.29173/cjs29346