Racialization and health inequities in Toronto

In brief

Research has shown that racialized groups have poorer health than non-racialized groups. Studies have also shown a link between experiencing racial discrimination and having poor mental and physical health.

In Canada, the research on these issues is limited. In Toronto, about half of the population self-identified as belonging to a racialized group in a 2006 study. This level of ethnic and racial diversity makes it especially important to understand the links between racialization and health in this city.

Researchers at Toronto Public Health conducted a study to provide a picture of the population of Toronto and to look at the impact of racialization on health inequalities. They also tried to identify gaps in research and data on this subject. The report separates the effect of racialized group and racial discrimination from immigrant status and income using local as well as national and international research. It includes Toronto Public Health’s analyses of Toronto-level data from the 2006 long-form Census, the Canadian Community Health Survey, and the Neighbourhood Effects on Health and Well-Being study.

EENet has developed a Research Report Round-up of the report, “Racialization and Health Inequities in Toronto.” To read it download it below.

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Read it below or download the PDF.

Title and link to report: Racialization and Health Inequities in Toronto

Author(s): Jennifer Levy, Donna Ansara, and Andi Stover, Toronto Public Health

Year of report: 2013

Location: Toronto
Type of study: Literature review
Language: English

What this report is about

There is a lot of research showing that racialized groups have poorer health than non-racialized groups. Studies have also shown a link between experiencing racial discrimination and having poor mental and physical health.

In Canada, the research on these issues is limited. In Toronto, about half of people surveyed in 2006 self-identified as belonging to a racialized group. This level of ethnic and racial diversity makes it especially important to understand the links between racialization and health in this city.

The aim of this report is to provide a picture of the population of Toronto and to look at the impact of racialization on health inequalities. It also tries to identify gaps in research and data on this subject.

The report separates the effect of racialized group and racial discrimination from immigrant status and income using local as well as national and international research. It includes Toronto Public Health's analyses of Toronto-level data from the 2006 long-form Census, the Canadian Community  Health Survey, and the Neighbourhood Effects on Health and Well-Being study.

Key findings include:

  • Racial disparities across a number of health outcomes (self-rated health; overweight or obesity; self-rated mental health, etc).
  • The relationship between experiencing racial discrimination and health outcomes, looking specifically at the following indicators: self-rated health; pain and discomfort; and high blood pressure.
  • Racialized disparities in experiences of racial discrimination and other stressors, socioeconomic status, access to health care, and health behaviours.

How this report can be used

This report identifies gaps in research and data and points to areas of study that other researchers may want to undertake. It also provides useful information that may inform the service design as well as for policy advocacy. 

Key words: Population; race; racialization; racism; health, mental health, discrimination; health inequity

Contact person/source:
www.toronto.ca/health/reports 
Phone: 416-338-7600 
TTY: 416-392-0658