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Canada's aboriginal population has topped the million mark for the first time, according to the latest census, an increase of 45 per cent from a decade earlier.
Statistics Canada, which released new data Tuesday from the 2006 census on Canada's aboriginal population, counted 1,172,790 Indian, Métis and Inuit people.
Part of the reason for the increase is higher birth rates among aboriginals compared to the non-aboriginal population, according to Statistics Canada.
But it's also because more people than before are identifying themselves as aboriginal.
Among other highlights:
The reported Métis population — those of mixed Indian and European ancestry — has almost doubled since the 1996 census.
Fifty-one per cent of the status Indian population lives off reserve, up from 50 per cent in 1996.
Some of Canada's largest cities have significant aboriginal populations, including Winnipeg (10 per cent), Regina and Saskatoon (both nine per cent).
The aboriginal population in Canada is considerably younger than the non-native citizenry, with a median age of 27 compared to 40. Almost half (48 per cent) of the aboriginal population is under the age of 25.
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