Most immigrants to be of Asian origin

South Asians will be the largest minority group, followed by the Chinese in Canada in the next 20 years says a new report by Statistics Canada.

In the same period, nearly 60% of Canada’s immigrant population could be born in Asia said the

the report, Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions 2001 to 2036,

states that by the latter year, “between 55.7% and 57.9% of immigrants would be born in Asia — mainly in China, India and the Philippines”.

Extrapolating from these figures, and since immigrants from India already account for the vast majority from within South Asia, they could comprise nearly 5% of Canada’s population by 2036 and could be level with the Chinese in terms of being the single largest country of origin for minority groups.

The report was released as Canada prepares to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Confederation this summer. The data shows how the demographic composition of the North American nation has altered.

Based on different scenarios, the proportion of immigrants as part of the population will range between 24.5% and 30%, as against 20.7% in 2011. “These would be the highest proportions since 1871,” the report stated.

By 2036, it posits “between 55.7% and 57.9% of Canada’s immigrant population could have been born in Asia, up from 44.8% estimated in 2011”.

It also marks quite a shift over 50 years, as it notes, “In 1986, 62.2% of immigrants living in Canada were born in Europe and only 18.4% were born in Asia. In 2011, the portrait was very different, with people born in Asia (Chinese, Indian and Filipino being the three main groups) accounting for most of the immigrants living in Canada (44.8%), while immigrants born in Europe represented no more than 31.6% of the total.”

Canada’s first census was conducted in 1871, four years after the formation of the Confederation or the modern Canadian nation. At that time, only about 16% of the population was made up of immigrants and of that nearly 85% originated from the British Isles.

Here are some highlights of the report;


Nearly one in two Canadians could be an immigrant or the child of an immigrant by 2036


According to the report Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions, 2011 to 2036, if current immigration levels continue in the coming years, the proportion of immigrants in Canada's population could reach between 24.5% and 30.0% in 2036, compared with 20.7% in 2011. The projected increase in the proportion of immigrants up to 2036 could affect the future proportion of the second-generation population, that is, the population with at least one parent born abroad. In all scenarios, nearly one in five people (19.7%) would be second generation in 2036, up from 17.5% in 2011. Immigrants and second-generation individuals combined, who represented 38.2% of Canada's population in 2011, could account for nearly one in two people (between 44.2% and 49.7%) in 2036.


The immigrant population would continue to be concentratedin the census metropolitan areas in 2036, particularly Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver


According to the results of these projections, the geographic distribution of immigrants in 2036 would be similar to the 2011 estimate. For example, in 2011, 9 in 10 immigrants lived in a census metropolitan area (CMA), a proportion that could be between 91.7% and 93.4% in 2036. At the end of the projection period, as in 2011, Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver would remain the three main places of residence of immigrants. In 2036, 33.6% to 39.1% of all immigrants in Canada would live in Toronto; 13.9% to 14.6% in Montréal; and 12.4% to 13.1% in Vancouver.

The projection results show that from 2011 to 2036, the proportion of immigrants in the population would increase in almost all regions of the country, although regional differences would remain. The proportion of immigrants in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec (except Montréal) and in non-CMAs would remain below the Canadian average at the end of the projection period.

In 2036, the five CMAs with the highest proportions of immigrants in their populations would be Toronto (between 46.0% and 52.8%), Vancouver (between 42.1% and 48.5%), Calgary (between 32.7% and 40.8%), Montréal (between 28.4% and 34.2%) and Winnipeg (between 29.2% and 40.5%).


More than half of immigrants in Canada would be of Asian origin in 2036


If recent trends in the composition of immigration remain the same throughout the projection, in 2036 between 55.7% and 57.9% of Canada's immigrant population would be Asian-born, up from 44.8% in 2011. Conversely, the proportion of European immigrants would decrease from 31.6% in 2011 to between 15.4% and 17.8% in 2036. Therefore, the arrival of many individuals born abroad affects not only population growth, but also the ethnocultural and language composition of the immigrant population.


Over one-third of the working-age population in 2036 would belong to a visible minority group


In 2036, among the population aged 15 to 64, often referred to as the working-age population, between 34.7% and 39.9% would belong to a visible minority group, up from 19.6% in 2011. The proportion of the 15-to-64 population who are members of a visible minority would increase in all areas of the country between now and 2036. South Asian would still be the group with the most people in 2036, as was the case in 2011.


The proportion of people with a non-Christian religion would increase between now and 2036


The number of people with a non-Christian religion could almost double by 2036, accounting for between 13% and 16% of Canada's population, compared with 9% in 2011. Within this group, the Muslim (between 5.6% and 7.2% of the total population in 2036), Hindu (between 2.5% and 2.9%) and Sikh (between 2.3% and 2.7%) faiths would see the number of their followers grow more quickly because of their representation among immigrants, although they would still represent a small proportion of the total Canadian population. The number of unaffiliated people would continue to increase and could represent between 28.2% and 34.6% of all Canadians in 2036.

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