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In Canada, mixed unions account for a small proportion of all married and common-law couples.

Couples in mixed unions can be looked at from different perspectives.

For example, it may refer to couples who do not have the same ethnic origin, the same religion, the same language or the same birthplace.

In this article, the concept of mixed union is based on the difference in visible minority status of the two persons in a conjugal relationship.

A mixed union refers to a couple in which one spouse or partner belongs to a visible minority group and the other does not, as well as a couple in which the two spouses or partners belong to different visible minority groups.

The in race or non-white in colour." The visible minority population consists mainly of the following groups: South Asian, Chinese, Black, Filipino, Latin American, Arab, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese.

According to data from the 2011 National Household Survey, about 360,045 couples, or 4.6% of all married and common-law couples in Canada, were in mixed unions.

Of that number, 305,075, or 3.9% of all couples, were composed of one person who was a member of a visible minority and one who was not, while 54,970 couples (0.7% of all couples) involved two persons from different visible minority groups.

Compared with the results from past censuses, the proportion of couples in mixed unions is up.

Couples in mixed unions accounted for 2.6% of all couples in 1991, 3.1% of couples in 2001 and 3.9% in 2006.

Some visible minority groups have a greater tendency to be in mixed unions than others (Table 1).

In 2011, Japanese were by far the most likely to be in a conjugal relationship with a person from another group.

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