Here are a few general facts on Canada’s immigrant population:
Of all the G8 countries, Canada has the most number of immigrants
Based on 2011 statistics, Canada had a foreign-born population of about 6.7 million people. This represents 20.6% of the total population, the highest proportion among the G8 countries. This means that one out of five people in Canada’s population is foreign-born. Next to Canada is Germany, with 13% of the total population (2010) and the United States with12.9% (2010). Outside of the G8, Australia had a higher proportion of foreign-born population at 26.8% in 2010.
Asia is the biggest source of immigrants
Asia has been Canada’s largest source of immigrants from 2006 to 2011. Roughly 661,600 or 56.9% came from Asia, with the Philippines, China and India as the top destination countries. Completing the top 10 countries of birth are the United States, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Iran, South Korea, Colombia, and Mexico.
More than 200 ethnic origins have been reported
Based on the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), 200 ethnic origins have been reported, with 57.9% of the population reporting one ethnic origin and the rest, more than one. The most common ethnic origin other than Canadian includes English, French, Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, Chinese, First Nations (North American Indian), Ukrainian, East Indian, Dutch and Polish.
The top languages used (aside from Canada’s official languages) are Chinese, Tagalog, Spanish, and Punjabi
It is estimated that there are more than 200 languages spoken in Canada in 2011. Of the total immigrant population, about 23.8% reported English as their mother tongue, while 3.4% said French. Chinese languages were reported by 13% of the foreign-born population. Other top languages reported were Tagalog (Filipino), Spanish, Punjabi, Arabic, Italian, German, Portuguese, Persian (Farsi), and Polish.
The top destinations in Canada are Ontario, BC, Quebec, and Alberta
Based on the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), 94.8% of Canada’s foreign-born population lived in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta. Around 5% of immigrants went to Manitoba. It was also noted that most immigrants chose to live in metropolitan areas or the largest urban centres. Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal were the top cities of choice, with Calgary as the fourth, and Ottawa-Gatineau as the fifth.
Sources: Facts and Figures 2016 – Immigration overview: Permanent Residents, Canada.ca; Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada, Statistics Canada
Canadian immigration statistics
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