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Nearly 700 people identify as transgender, non-binary in the Tri-Cities: census

Port Coquitlam has the highest number of trans and non-binary people per capita as one in 300 Canadians identify with the under-represented communities.
People walking on colourfully-shaped plaza - Getty Images
There are 670 people that live in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody that currently ID themselves as transgender or non-binary, representing 0.33 per cent of the region according to Canada's latest census data.

Several hundred people who identify themselves as transgender or non-binary are currently living in the Tri-Cities.

That's according to Canada's 2021 census as it attempted to record and understand the communities across the country in its latest report.

According to data provided to the Tri-City News, there are 665 residents aged 15 years and older living in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody with a gender that differs from the sex they were assigned at birth:

  • 405 transgender people
    • 220 transgender women
    • 185 transgender men
  • 260 non-binary people

Combined, that's 0.33 per cent of the region's recorded population of 203,780, while the remaining 99.67 per cent identify as man or woman.

For comparison, Vancouver's rate is 0.42 per cent of a population of more than 2.2 million people.

Breaking down the data

And it appears Port Coquitlam is a popular home as it boasts the highest Tri-City transgender and non-binary people per capita rate at 0.37 per cent.

Census 2021 says the city hosts 120 trans-women and -men and 70 non-binary persons of a total population of under 51,000.

Port Moody has the next highest rate at 0.36 per cent with 100 trans- and non-binary persons out of 27,935.

In Coquitlam, there are 375 that associate themselves as transgender or non-binary — representing 0.3 per cent of the city's population per capita.

The rates for residents that responded as woman or man are as follows:

  • Coquitlam
    • 148,680 cisgender people
      • 75,645 women (50.9 per cent)
      • 73,035 men (49.1 per cent)
  • Port Coquitlam
    • 61,500 cisgender people
      • 31,185 women (50.7 per cent)
      • 30,310 men (49.3 per cent)
  • Port Moody
    • 33,535 cisgender people
      • 17,065 women (50.9 per cent)
      • 16,475 men (49.1 per cent)

First-of-its-kind census

The inclusion of the transgender and non-binary communities is a first-of-its-kind compared to other census reports around the world.

The data suggests one in 300 Canadians over 15, and more than 18,000 people in B.C. alone — associate themselves with the identity. 

In fact, our province has the third-highest trans- and non-binary per-capita rating (0.44 per cent).

Nova Scotia (0.48 per cent) and Yukon (0.47 per cent) are the top two in the nation.

Statstics Canada says younger people are far more likely to report being transgender, and some 0.85 per cent of Canadians aged 20 to 24 are non-binary or transgender.

"Over time, the acceptance and understanding of gender and sexual diversity has evolved. Further, there has been social and legislative recognition of transgender, non-binary and LGBTQ people in general," Statistics Canada said.

"Younger generations may be more comfortable reporting their gender identity than older generations."

The inclusion of transgender people in the census is part of a broader move by the Liberal government to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community. 

In 2017, the government added gender identity and expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and amended the Criminal Code to include those same groups in the list of "identifiable groups" that could be targets of genocides and hate crimes. 

The following year, the federal budget noted Statistics Canada's efforts to reflect gender diversity in the census and allocated funds to the agency to create a new Centre for Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Statistics. 

Its mandate, Statistics Canada said, is to develop "a Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) data hub to support evidence-based policy development and decision making, both within the federal government and beyond." 

- with files from The Canadian Press