by Debbie Hayton
Tuesday, 3
May 2022
Spotted
08:00

Canada census reveals how many people are trans

Generational differences skew this unique data
by Debbie Hayton
Credit: Getty

One in three hundred Canadians identify as transgender or non-binary. Or to be precise, of the nearly 30.5 million people in Canada aged 15 and over living in a private household, 59,460 were transgender and another 41,335 were non-binary. The data comes from a new census which Statistics Canada claims to be a world first to report on transgender and non-binary people.

What’s more interesting, though, is the breakdown by age and sex. Young people are much more likely to be transgender. I think we could have guessed that, but now we have the numbers to prove it. Statistics Canada labels it a “generation gap”.

Credit: Statistics Canada

Digging into this breakdown, it is fascinating to see the two sexes follow quite different patterns. While the proportion of transgender women — i.e., biological males — fell from 0.18% (aged 20 to 24) to 0.08% (aged 65+), transgender men were far more heavily skewed to the younger age groups. Among biological females, those aged 15 to 24 were over five times more likely to identify as transgender than those over 40.

One argument for this discrepancy would doubtless be that members of the youngest generation are more comfortable ‘coming out’. But the gender skew seems more dramatic than would be explained by that effect, and implies that many teenage girls struggling with gender dysphoria will grow out of it as they move into adulthood. Many suspected that to be the case; now they have the data to justify it.

The breakdown by sex should be reliable because Statistics Canada had the foresight to ask for “sex at birth”. Other censuses have lacked that precision. In England and Wales, last year, the High Court ruled that transgender people should indicate the sex recorded on their birth certificate or gender recognition certificate. That drew an unhelpful line between trans people with legal gender recognition and those without. Though even that was better than the recent Scottish census where transgender people could effectively self-identify their sex, rendering the aggregated data unreliable or even useless.

Back across the Atlantic, Statistics Canada listed non-binary people separately from transgender people. The data indicated few surprises — this was a phenomenon among mainly young people. As we may have guessed, numbers dropped significantly by the time people hit their mid-30s. It was just a pity that the non-binary contingent was not broken down by sex. Although non-binary people may wish to identify out of their sex, they still have a sex and — like every other human being — they cannot escape their bodies. Non-binary males and non-binary females may have been aggregated, but they remain separate demographics.

No census can explain the transgender phenomenon, but Canada has given us an insight into its extent while giving credence to the idea that many youngsters will grow out of it. If clinicians were not cautious before, they should be now.

Join the discussion


To join the discussion, get the free daily email and read more articles like this, sign up.

It's simple, quick and free.

Sign me up
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
19 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
1 month ago

Any parent of a teenage daughter, familiar with the extreme mood swings, addiction to drama, and craving to be part of the in crowd, will understand these stats immediately.

When gender fluidity ceases to be fashionable, the numbers will drop to the tiny percentage with a genuine problem.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Yes Martin, and perhaps Stonewall will become a victim of its own success. By making transgenderism mainstream and legitimate it will no longer be attractive to young people who will have to think of something else.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Stonewall…..the homophobic gay rights organisation.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago

This survey illustrates that in a pretty liberal country a tiny (less than 1 %) proportion of the population identifies as trans or non-binary whatever is actually meant by either category which is far from clear. Why should national policies be altered to accommodate this eccentric minority any more than the country would tailor their policies to accommodate the policies of the the Monster Raving Loony party which used to poll at a similar level?

Robert Sleigh
Robert Sleigh
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Canada is “a pretty liberal country”. Where have you been for the last couple of years?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Sleigh

Yes the trouble of using “liberal” today is that it may be unclear whether it is used in the traditional John Stuart Mill sense or in the modern sense of a “progressive” anti-nationalist quasi-fascist woke sense. I was using it in the latter sense. If a country as celebratory of woke politics as Canada can only record less than 1% alternative genders than it is not a vast constituency that requires a radical alteration of language and practices to the detriment of women.

harry storm
harry storm
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Sleigh

Canada, where i live, is nowhere near the hotbed of progressivism that conservatives in Canada and people from other countries, including intelligent people like Douglas Murray, make out. Much of Trudeau’s woke behaviour is for appearances only; for the most part he is governing in a very traditional Liberal (i.e. the Liberal party of Canada) way. He does appear fatuously progressive at times for sure, but policywise he mostly sticks pretty close to the middle, where Liberals have always tended to be.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

More to the point: How did this become a thing that we can’t stop talking about?
Also, if you and I are confused about what any of these labels actually mean, imagine how the average voter feels.

Lindsay Snoman
Lindsay Snoman
1 month ago

It’s because to be a white cis het person is the worst thing ever for young people today. The rest of us are just too old to care.

dofaust
dofaust
1 month ago

Occasionally, reality matches common-sense-perceptions that younger generations have been poorly served by the educational systems, especially at the secondary-school levels.Ditto the prevalence of difficult family environments – the largest factor explaining dysphoria. But, its an old story: crumbling institutions, questionable parenting, and dysfunctional schools are the sources of immature cognition, and not just gender dysphoria.

Philippe W
Philippe W
1 month ago

So put together the total number of transgender and non-binary people in the entirety of Canada would just about fill Hove?
Funny.

David U
David U
1 month ago
Reply to  Philippe W

They would be happier in Hanover.

Mathieu Bernard
Mathieu Bernard
1 month ago

I don’t think the census demonstrates that young people will “grow out of it.” The more obvious reason is that transgender and nonbinary just weren’t options for the older generations. In contemporary liberal societies, young people are being conditioned into non-traditional gender choices through neo-Marxist ideologies such as queer theory and critical gender studies. Who wants to be part of the “dominant oppressor class” when you can “come out,” identify as trans or nonbinary, and become liberated from the cis-heterosexual hegemony?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago

This was my first thought too. My issue with all this is how quickly transgenderism is being enshrined in law. I wonder if the drive behind it is to reduce people to vapid sexless worker drones. Healthy masculinity has always stood in the way of toxic governments, so maybe transgenderism is a way to topple that.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 month ago

Is it possible that the reason the number of transgender people decreases with age is that the transgender boom hasn’t worked its way up through the age groups yet?

Ern
Ern
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

I suspect most of us boomers don’t even understand what “Non Binary” means, let alone want to identify as one (it?).
This is very much a phenomenon of Gen Z (my daughter’s age, and yes at her school there were several)
I think its something to do with the modern attitude to “Fairness” – everyone has a right to be whatever they want to be 🙂 despite the perfectly obvious fact some things are immutable
Oddly, one can self identify as the other gender, but god help you if you self identify as black when you are white.

Steve Elliott
Steve Elliott
1 month ago
Reply to  Ern

I don’t understand the concept of non-binary. The first time I came across it was when my daughter who is an animator gave me one of her animation magazines to read. It was aimed at professional animators. But there was a section called “The top 10 women in animation”. One of the women animators said she identified as non-binary. I asked my daughter what that meant and she told me that it means that the person does not identify as either male or female. “But she’s in a list of the top ten WOMEN animators” I replied. What?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

Presumably non binary to her meant he/she was free to identify as male or female depending on whether there was an advantage in adopting one or the other genders.
Why would one not be non binary if you get the advantages of both genders/sexes.

Al M
Al M
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Elliott

This is an interesting point. Elsewhere on here this week, the point was made that if older people were hiding due to social conventions, their removal has not seen an uptick in boomers or gen-z ‘coming out’.

If the sudden swing among young people is, in many cases, peer pressure, then what it comes down to is how long people wish to maintain how they present themselves. How many people look, dress, behave and think the same way at fifteen and fifty?