Canada Reaches Record Number of 6.8 Million Foreign-Born Residents in the Country


According to the 2011 National Housing Survey (NHS), a voluntary survey completed by over 3 million people, there are more foreign-born people living in the country that ever before. At present, almost one in five people living in Canada is a visible minority, and in nine different municipalities those visible minorities have actually grown to become the majority.

According to the 2011 NHS, Canada is home to almost 6.8 million foreign-born residents, representing 20.6% of the population. According to the survey, this foreign-born resident is on average young, suburban, and predominantly from Asia. However, though many recent immigrants are still from Asia, its proportion has diminished over the past five years, leading to a more diverse pool of nationalities. This decline in the amount of Asian immigrants was been offset by growth in newcomers from Africa, Caribbean countries and Central and South America. In regards to nationality, the survey also reports that the Philippines is the top source for recent immigrants, which represent 13% of the newcomer population, with China and India holding the second and third place respectively.

The survey’s findings also show that the median age of typical immigrants is lower (31.7 years) than the median age of the Canadian born population (37.3 years). These younger immigrants are, for the majority, settling in the biggest cities in Canada, with 91% in metropolitan areas and 63.4% living in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. However, while Toronto is still the top destination for immigrants, its popularity is starting to decline, as immigrants are increasingly choosing to settle elsewhere. As a result, various other cities, such as Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, have experienced increases in immigrant settlement.

The survey also shows that the aboriginal population has risen by 20% in the past five years from 3.8% in 2006 to 4.3% in 2011. This steep growth however is not due to a dramatic increase in the birth rate among the Canadian Aboriginal population but more the result from changes in legal definitions and survey methodologies.

In addition, in regards to religion, the 2011 NHS found that Canadians are becoming less and less religious: two-thirds are Christian and one quarter claim no religious affiliations. Immigration patterns have led to an increase in the number of people associating with Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, thus changing the cultural and religious make up of the country.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based law firm that provides professional legal service on Canadian immigration. For more updates and tips on Canadian immigration, visit Don’t forget to like FWCanada on Facebook and follow the firm on Twitter.

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