Métis make up more than half of Windsor-Essex's growing Indigenous population
Average age of Indigenous Canadians is 7 years younger than the rest of the population
The latest census numbers from Statistics Canada show more than half of Windsor's growing Indigenous population identify as Métis.
In 2011, 6,630 census respondents were Indigenous. In 2016, that number jumped to 8,485. The largest growth occurred within the region's Métis population, which swelled by more than 1,500.
That means more than 50 per cent of Windsor's Indigenous people are Métis, according to Statistics Canada analyst Thomas Anderson, who said the spike isn't a surprise.
The statistics agency has seen growth in Indigenous groups throughout Ontario, which is now home to the largest population of Métis people.
Self-identification, fertility rates boost growth
Anderson said that change can be attributed to two main factors: natural growth, which includes higher fertility rates, and changes in self-identification trends over time.
He added self-identification within Indigenous communities has been on a rise in Canada and is a major contributing factor in the area's increase.
"More people seem to identify as a First Nations person, Métis, or Inuk and I think that's what's really taking place in Windsor," he explained.
The rise could also be partially attributed to a census section added in 1996 where people are asked if they identify as an Aboriginal person.
Another notable cause Anderson points to is age. The average age for members of Canada's Indigenous population is just over 34, compared to Windsor's median age of 41.
"The Aboriginal population is significantly younger than the non-Aboriginal population," he explained. "This is true across the country and true in Windsor specifically."