Canadian Muslims – Another market segment to grow with

Market segmentation is the foundation for developing sound marketing strategies and successfully implementing marketing programs. It is especially vital for marketing in Canada that thrives on diversity, mosaic and multiculturalism. Anecdotally, immigrant groups in Canada retain their identity and likes & dislikes longer than in other countries, like the USA and Australia.  South Asians, East Asians and Afro-Canadians are some of the discrete groups that are pursued and catered by forward-looking organizations.

There is another market segment, Muslim-Canadians, which is sizeable, promising and untapped. It is evident from the highlights and facts provided below that Muslim-Canadians market segment will be highly lucrative for the companies with relevant products and services for this group.Grocery Shopper For example, meat producers, clothing companies, financial services, restaurants, capital goods, grocery stores and travel and tourism. Highlights of Muslim Canadian market segment are as follows:

  •  Big market segment, with 800,000 people and fast growing, as shown below in immigration trends
  • Young group, having a median age of 28.1 years compared to 37 years for total Canadian population.
  • Educated, with 20% Muslims in Canada have University degrees.
  • About 90% of the Muslims are new in Canada or first generation Canadians

 Further details are as follows:

 Population:

  • There are estimated 800,000 Muslims in Canada. 61% of them (488,000) live in Ontario followed by 18% (144,000) in Quebec.
  • About 70% of Ontario’s Muslim population lives in the GTA, estimated at 342,000 people.

 Immigration:

  • Share of Muslim immigrants has steadily increased over last 40 years, as shown in the table below: 
Decade of Arrival Share of Immigration Population
1961 – 1970 2.30%
1971 – 1980 12.20%
1981 – 1990 18.80%
1991 – 2000 66.40%
  • As per 2001 Census, 85.5% Muslim Canadian population consider themselves as visible minority, which means at an estimated 800,000 Muslims in Canada today, 680,000 consider themselves a visible minority. Out of 85.5% Muslims who consider themselves a visible minority, 36.7% belonged to South Asian and 21% to Arab Canadian segments.
  •  About 90% of Muslims are first generation Canadians

 Age:

  • Muslims represent a younger cohort in Canada with a median age of 28.1 years compared to total Canadian population median age of 37 years.

 Language

  • 84% Muslims are Anglophone and 9% Francophone in Canada.
  •  Half of Muslim Canadians speak a non-official language at home.

 Education:  

  • 20% Muslims in Canada have a University degree, including 6% Master’s degree and 1.5% PhD. Muslims are only second to Jewish population, which has 8.8% Master’s and 2% PhDs

 Marital Status:

  • 59% Muslims are legally married and living together and 32% are unmarried.

 Employment:

  • Unemployment is high in Muslim Canadians at 14.5% compared to national average of 8%
  • Majority of Muslims are involved in sales and services profession at 27%

 Sources:      Euro-Islam Info, Torontomuslims.com, Census 2001 & 2006, Wikipedia

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About Fazal Siddiqi
Fazal Siddiqi Writes on current marketing, branding, communications, diversity and socio-economic opportunities & challenges. He lives in Canada and works for OPAL Marketing Group.

6 Responses to Canadian Muslims – Another market segment to grow with

  1. I’m curious to know what are the unique traits of Muslims in Canada and/or whether they behave/function differently in terms of attitudes and mannerisms here or maintain the same traits as they would back home, due to their sizable population here.

  2. Another set of market research would be required to answer your questions. However, every market segment has traits and nuances unique to it. A savvy marketer tries to unfold these and connects to the target market by working on them.

    Muslim Canadians behave differently in terms of food selection and clothing, more so when they are new in the country. Their media consumption is also different than mainstream.

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