when i was reading about canada last week, i was surprised to learn that 30% of vancouver’s population is chinese. i mean, i knew that there was a lot of chinese folks in canada/british columbia, but i didn’t realize it was quite that many. (i know — where the h*ll have i been? well, obviously not in vancouver!)

which made me wonder: how civic are the chinese-vancouverans? so i checked the world values survey (couldn’t find any data by ethnic groups on statistics canada) for canada (2006) by region and ethnic group for the standard “civicness” questions.

couldn’t look at vancouver directly — just british columbia — although i think it’s a pretty safe assumption that most of the chinese in british columbia are in vancouver or some other urban area. unfortunately, the number of east asians (chinese+japanese) surveyed in british columbia was on the small side for each of the questions – n=32 or 33. *sigh* well, here are the results anyway — the percentages of those whites (n=210) and east asians in british columbia responding that they are active members of various types of voluntary organizations (click on chart for LARGER view):

east asians in british columbia appear to be less civic than whites in the province. the two groups score pretty closely on some of the questions — sport/recreation and art/music/eduction, for instance — but are worlds apart on others — charitable/humanitarian organization, church/religious, labor union, political party (0% for east asians).

still worried about the small sample size, i thought i’d check another province where a greater number of east asians were sampled. i found the sample size in ontario for east asians was n=49 to n=51 (depending on the question). for whites it was n=660-661. here’s what i got:

in ontario, east asians score more like whites in “civicness,” even surpassing them a LOT in being church goers. still lower on professional organization, labor unions and political party (0% again), but scoring higher than whites on all the other questions.

not sure why the numbers are different for east asians in ontario vs. british columbia. maybe it’s the sample size. maybe it’s because only 5% of the population of ontario is chinese/japanese versus 10.9% for british columbia, so east asians are more integrated in ontario? in terms of raw numbers, there are more chinese in ontario than british columbia: 576,975 vs. 407,225 (in 2006).

maybe it’s something else altogether. where in china the different groups came from perhaps? dunno.

previously: civic societies – where you can see the civicness scores for china, btw.

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