BBC Names Toronto the Most Multicultural City in the World

For years, Torontonians have proudly reminded everyone else that we’re (unofficially) known as the most ethnically diverse city in the world. Even Cosmopolis had a pretty good idea of what was coming.

Well, we’re not the only ones who think so.

A recent podcast of BBC Radio’s “More or Less” discussed the world’s most diverse cities weeks after London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, called the U.K. city the most diverse in the world.

But is it? As the podcast highlights, 37 per cent of all Londoners were born outside of the U.K. This figure, however, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the world’s most multicultural city.

Measuring diversity isn’t easy; the percentage of people born outside a foreign country (a measure traditionally used) isn’t necessarily reflective of the ethnic diversity reflected on its streets. Such a technique comes with flaws because it doesn’t capture second or third generation immigrants, nor does it account for the variety of ethnicities found.

Dubai, for example, may be home to 83 per cent of people who were born outside of the country, but it doesn’t make it the most multicultural – depending on your criteria. Most of these foreign-born residents are from Asia, rather than from a variety of regions around the world.

Statistics like the total number of languages spoken produces problems too. In cities like New York, London, or Sydney, you could find people who speak any and all languages of the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s reflective of the true picture of those living in each city; the number of languages spoken doesn’t make a city more diverse.

After outlining the statistical flaws, BBC Radio announced the top cities that are truly reflective of diversity: Toronto took first place, followed by Brussels. Third place is a tie between Auckland, London, and Los Angeles, according to the BBC analysis.

Toronto is currently home to 232 nationalities, with more than twice the proportion of recent immigrants (8.4%) as the rest of Canada (3.5%).

Between the Raptors’ series win last night and the fact that our “Hollywood North” designation couldn’t be truer right now, we have a lot to celebrate on this fine Monday.