Author & Librarian

Resources for Ethnicity and Crime in Canada

Canadian statistics on ethnicity and crime is collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (URC) annually. The data collected through the URC is reported by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) and policing communities. The survey was designed to collect information about crimes and its characteristics in Canada. This information is collected by the police, and they usually include the number of criminal incidents, persons-charged, etc.

Main Survey:

Resources to Review:
The Classification of visible minority

Aggregated Data

A Profile of Visible Minority Offenders in the Federal Canadian Correctional System
Current link:

Although this study was conducted in 2004, it is still perhaps one of the most comprehensive statistical data available on the ethnicity of offenders in Canada. This study was conducted with the intention of examining visible minority offenders under the responsibility of the Correctional Service of Canada. Essentially, this study includes federal offenders incarcerated in correctional facilities and those serving time in the community. What is particularly useful in this study is the analysis the study makes and the conclusions it draws. The Appendix A is also another useful section where all the tables are provided.

A Case Study of Diversity in Corrections: The Black Inmate Experience in Federal Penitentiaries: Final Report (2013)
Current link:

This report is published by the Office of the Correctional Investigator. The Office of the Correctional Investigator is one of the best resources available for aggregated statistics and data on ethnicity and crime. This study focuses on the experiences of the Black inmate in federal penitentiaries. What is useful about this study is that it provides a detail summary of the different aspect of the Black inmate experiences, including the profile of the inmate, even going so far to provide the statistics on the conditions of confinement. Aside from this study, the Office of the Correctional Investigator annual reports also contains statistic information on ethnicity as well.

Police-reported hate crime in Canada
Current link:

Using microdata from the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2), the Police-reported hate crime in Canada is perhaps one of the most recognized studies that actually contains information about ethnicity. Among other characteristics, this report actually examines hate crimes by race and/or ethnicity. The section most useful is the section titled: Police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity. This section draws in the National Household Survey (NHS) survey, and provides the total number of police-reported hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity. It also contains a table that highlights the percentage of differences between different ethnicity and race.


General Social Survey: Victimization
Main Survey:

The General Social Survey (GSS) runs every 5 years, and its primary focus is to gather data on social trends in order to monitor changes in Canadian living conditions and well-being. The Victimization or the Canadians’ Safety survey is to understand how Canadians perceive crime and the justice system. This survey is the only Canadian national survey of self-reported victimization that tries to capture crimes not reported to the police.

Although the current General Social Survey is actually the 2014, GSS cycle 28, only cycle 23 published in 2009 is publically available for use. The 2014 GSS can be accessed through the Toronto RDC (

General Social Survey, Cycle 23, 2009 [Canada]: Victimization, Main File. Microdata retrieved from SDA@CHASS and odesi.
The microdata sets are available in the following Dropbox.

Ethnic Diversity Survey
Main Survey:

The Ethnic Diversity Survey was a one-time survey conducted to understand how individuals’ backgrounds affect their involvement in the social, economic and cultural life of Canada, as well, as helping to clarify how individuals actually view different ethnicity and report on their own ethnicity. This survey is most useful for understanding how Canada collects and defines information about ethnicity. This could be considered as a supporting microdata into understanding how ethnicity relates to crime in Canada.

Ethnic Diversity Survey, 2002. Microdata retrieved from SDA@CHASS and odesi.
The microdata sets are available in the following Dropbox.

Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR) Microdata
Main Survey:

The UCR2 survey, also known as the “incident-based” survey, microdata contains information about the characteristics of incidents, victims and the accused. Because Canada does not release information about offenders and victims ethnicity/race (expect for Aboriginals and in hate crime reports) to the public, access to these microdata is restricted. However, for an extensive detailed report about ethnicity and crime, this is the ideal microdata to obtain.


*The Dropbox contains the following documents for each microdata sets: Raw Data, Codebook, Setup file, and a Readable SPSS file.



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