Facts and Stats: Indigenous Families in Canada

The Vanier Institute of the Family recognizes and honours Indigenous families in Canada, which have sustained rich and vibrant Nations across this land since time immemorial.1 As we engage in conversation with Indigenous communities to build a foundation of data to support evidence-based decision making, we recognize that the realities and experiences of Indigenous people – including First Nations, Métis and Inuit families – are highly diverse and, as such, the statistics and information in this resource are presented by specific group wherever possible.

Indigenous families in Canada are highly diverse and, like all families, they adapt and react to evolving social, economic, cultural and environmental contexts. Facts and Stats: Indigenous Families in Canada compiles data from Statistics Canada to explore some of the family realities of Indigenous people in Canada.

Highlights include2:

  • In 2016, there were approximately 977,000 people in Canada reporting First Nations identity, 758,000 reporting Métis identity and 65,000 reporting Inuit identity – fast-growing populations that are projected to total a combined 2.0 to 2.6 million people by 2036.
  • In 2016, the average age of First Nations people (30.6 years), Métis (34.7 years) and Inuit (27.7 years) in Canada were nearly a decade younger than their non-Indigenous counterparts (40.9 years).
  • In 2016, 21% of First Nations, 11% of Métis and 23% of Inuit children aged 4 and under lived with at least one grandparent – higher shares than among their non-Indigenous counterparts (10%).
  • In 2016, 23% of First Nations people, 9% of Métis and 41% of Inuit lived in crowded housing – compared with 9% among their non-Indigenous counterparts.
  • In 2016, more than half (51%) of all foster children in Canada aged 4 and under were Indigenous, despite only accounting for 7.7% of all children in this age group.


Download Facts and Stats: Indigenous Families in Canada (June 2018) from the Vanier Institute of the Family.

The language surrounding identity and Indigenous people is evolving, and we have attempted to identify and use current terminology while also recognizing that there is always diversity regarding people’s preferences. As we continue the conversation, we welcome any feedback you may have, which can be sent to [email protected].



  1. First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), “FNHA and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report,” First Nations Health Authority Support for Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations (2015).
  2. Source information can be found in the fact sheet.
Scroll to Top