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Canada's Newcomers: Immigration patterns 2009

"Canada really is a country of hybrids," says Chinese-Canadian writer Judy Fong-Bates.
Already back in 1971, Canada became the world’s first self-appointed multi-cultural country. Today, Canada’s largest city, Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world.

The following information was taken from 2006 Census data by Statistics Canada with some information from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Statistics Canada, November 2008

Top 10 source countries for immigrants coming to Canada (1981 to 2006):

1. China, 2. India, 3. Philippines, 4. Pakistan, 5. USA, 6. South Korea, 7. Romania, 8. Iran 9. UK,10.Colombia

Top 10 source countries for immigrants coming to Canada (up until 1981):

1. United Kingdom
2. Italy
3. U.S.
4. Germany
5. Portugal
6. Netherlands
7. India
8. Poland
9. China
10. Countries of the former Yugoslavia

Canada's annual intake of immigrants is about one per cent of its total population. The one major exception occurred between 1911 and 1913, when the number of immigrants entering Canada represented about five per cent of the population.

Where do they go?

Ontario: 38,5 per cent
British Columbia: 13.0 per cent
Quebec: 23.8 per cent
Alberta: 10.4 per cent

Three-quarters of immigrants end up in Canada's largest cities: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal. Other cities are also increasing their share of newcomers. An unprecedented grouth of immigrant population is now seen in Alberta, where the petroleum industry development attracts masses of professionals.

Those headed to Toronto come from: China, India, Pakistan, Philippines and Korea. Immigrants to Montreal tend to come from: China, France, Morocco, Algeria and Haiti. Immigrants to Vancouver are from: China, India, Philippines, Korea and Taiwan.


Seventeen per cent of immigrants were schoolchildren aged between 5 and 16. Here's how it breaks down in the metropolitan areas:

One in six (17 per cent) of school-age children living in Toronto and Vancouver had immigrated within the past 10 years, as had about seven per cent of Montreal's school-age children.
Urban Ontario: The cities of Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill and Mississauga had proportionally higher numbers of new immigrants (one in four) in their school-age populations.
Urban B.C.: The city of Richmond had the highest proportion of newcomers (32 per cent ) in its school-age population. Nearly three in 10 children in Burnaby in this age group were newcomers, as were 24 per cent in Vancouver, 22 per cent in Coquitlam and 11 per cent in Surrey.
Montreal urban community: Twelve per cent of school-age children were immigrants who came in the 1990s. But within the MUC, Saint-Laurent had the highest proportion of newcomers (25 per cent) in their school-age population.

Visible minorities and ethnic origin

Three-quarters of immigrants arriving in Canada during the 1990s were visible minorities.

On the flip side, three out of every 10 individuals who were visible minorities were born in Canada. Visible minorities who are most likely to be Canadian-born:

1. Japanese (65 per cent)
2. Blacks (45 per cent)
3. Chinese (25 per cent)
4. Arabs and West Indians (21 per cent)
5. Latin Americans (20 per cent)
6. Koreans (17 per cent)

Chinese are the most populous visible minority in Canada numbering one million. South Asians come in at number 2 with 917,000 people.

While the census reported Canada had people from 200 ethnicities, 39 per cent of the total population reported their ethnic heritage as "Canadian."

Top non-official languages spoken at home:

1. Chinese*
2. Punjabi
3. Arabic
4. Spanish
5. Tagalog (Filipino)
6. Russian
7. Persian (Farsi)
8. Tamil
9. Urdu
10. Korean
*reported as Chinese, Cantonese, Mandarin or Hakka

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