by Adriana Albi Davies, Ph.D.
As various commentators have noted, census data does not provide conclusive information about numbers of members of ethnocultural communities.
For example, there was a significant increase in the number of
Italians in Alberta in the 1996 statistics and this was because Statistics Canada included a Census question that required the reporting of ethnic origin(s). The question in previous censuses focused on language spoken and did not elicit this information.
In 1991, Italian as Mother Tongue1
ranked 4th in Canada, behind English, French and German. In
Edmonton, it ranked 8th, behind English, French, Chinese, Ukrainian,
German, Polish and Spanish.
According to the 1986 census, Edmontonians who list Italy as their single country of origin totaled 9,865; Edmontonians who list Italian as one of their ethnic origins totaled 8,110. This method of requesting information does not allow second and subsequent generations of Canadians of Italian origin to indicate that ancestry. Members of the Italian community have always felt that these figures are low and do not accurately reflect the various generations of Italian immigrants residing in Edmonton. The figure that Edmontonians of Italian origin prefer is in the range of 20 to 25,000. Based on the 1996 Census, it is clear that the Italian community's estimation of their numbers, though based on anecdotal evidence, is probably accurate.
upwardly mobile Italian immigrants and their descendants have
largely moved out of the inner city. Nevertheless, Edmonton
has an established "Little Italy," the only such between
Winnipeg and Vancouver. This comprises the area between
107th Avenue and 118th Avenue, and 93rd Street and 97th Street.
According to 1996 Population Statistics, the following are the neighbourhoods
with an Italian population of greater than 100:
|LAKE DISTRICT NE PORTION
|MAYLIEWAN - OZERNA
As mentioned earlier, in 1996 Edmontonians who listed Italy as
their single country of origin totaled 9,865 out of 616,306, or 0.9%
of the total Edmonton population. The neighbourhood of
Northmount has the greatest number of Italians, 12.7% of its
population, or over 14 times Edmonton's average.
migration of Italian families out of "Little Italy" was
mostly toward neighbourhoods north of the inner-city, most notably,
the areas of Beaumaris, Evansdale, and Northmount, where Italians
comprised approximately 6.4%, 2.9%, and 12.7% of the neighbourhood's
population. "Little Italy," or the inner-city
neighbourhood of McCauley, held its own with an Italian population
of 3.2%, well above the city's average of 0.9%.
- For Alberta figures, refer to the Demographics
section in the Alberta Overview.