Estimated Total Population:

37 million

World Bank, 2018

Estimated SGM Population:

4.8 million

Foundation Jasmine Roy, 2017

Estimated Total SGM Adult Population:

4.2 million

Foundation Jasmine Roy, 2017

Estimated % of SGM Adults (18+):


Foundation Jasmine Roy, 2017

Internationally, Canada is known to have progressive laws and be an asylum from SGM individuals. Canada was the first country in the world to accept refugee petitions of persecution of sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or HIV status. Since the implementation of this policy in 1991, requests for asylum for SGM populations has been increasing. Starting in 1999, laws and court cases began to grant benefits of marriage to same sex couples and legalize same-sex marriage in 9 of 13 provinces. Canada legalized same-sex marriage nationally in 2005. Recently, the Canadian government has sought to ban conversion therapy. However, SGM populations still do not have constitutional protection and limited research on the size of the SGM community is available. Research indicates that SGM populations still face discrimination and are more likely to have poor health outcomes.

Canada's Laws and Policies from ILGA World Report (2019)

Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
Civil Unions
Joint Adoption
Second Parent Adoption
Employment Nondiscrimination Laws
Broad Protections
Criminalization of Violence
Ban of Conversion Therapy

*No constitutional protection 

Consensual Same-Sex Acts are Legal?
Does Not Apply
Max Penalty (Yrs in Prison)
Does Not Apply

Selected Published Studies, Reports, and Other Documents

Ferlatte, O., Salway, T., Rice, S., Oliffe, J. L., Rich, A. J., Knight, R., . . . Ogrodniczuk, J. S. (2019). Perceived Barriers to Mental Health Services Among Canadian Sexual and Gender Minorities with Depression and at Risk of Suicide. Community Mental Health Journal, 55(8), 1313-1321. doi:10.1007/s10597-019-00445-1

Kahn, S., & Alessi, E. j. (2017). Coming Out Under the Gun: Exploring the Psychological Dimensions of Seeking Refugee Status for LGBT Claimants in Canada. Journal of Refugee Studies, 31(1), 22-41. doi:10.1093/jrs/fex019

LGBTQ+ Studies Research Guide: Statistics and Data. (2020). Retrieved from

Nama, N., MacPherson, P., Sampson, M., & McMillan, H. J. (2017). Medical students’ perception of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) discrimination in their learning environment and their self-reported comfort level for caring for LGBT patients: a survey study. Medical Education Online, 22(1), 1368850. doi:10.1080/10872981.2017.1368850

Steele, L. S., Daley, A., Curling, D., Gibson, M. F., Green, D. C., Williams, C. C., & Ross, L. E. (2016). LGBT Identity, Untreated Depression, and Unmet Need for Mental Health Services by Sexual Minority Women and Trans-Identified People. Journal of Women's Health, 26(2), 116-127. doi:10.1089/jwh.2015.5677

Waite, S., & Denier, N. (2019). A Research Note on Canada's LGBT Data Landscape: Where We Are and What the Future Holds. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie, 56(1), 93-117. doi:10.1111/cars.12232

Ylioja, T., & Craig, S. L. (2014). Exclusionary Health Policy: Responding to the Risk of Poor Health among Sexual Minority Youth in Canada. Social Work in Public Health, 29(1), 81-86. doi:10.1080/19371918.2011.619936