Almost one in four people in Canada are immigrants
According to the 2021 Census of Population released by Statistics Canada, almost one in four people in Canada are immigrants.
In 2021, more than 8.3 million people or 23.0% of the population, were -or had ever been- landed immigrants or permanent residents in Canada. This is the largest immigrant share of Canada’s population since the Confederation (1867). It is also the largest proportion among the G7.
If these trends continue, immigrants could represent from 29.1% to 34.0% of the population of Canada by 2041.
It is important to mention that immigrants come from many different countries. In the past, the majority of immigrants in Canada came from Europe. However, over the past 50 years, the share of new immigrants from Europe has declined. On the other hand, the share of new immigrants who were born in Asia, including the Middle East, is increasing.
In 2021, the number of permanent resident arrivals was dominated by Indian citizens. Also, in 2021, Chinese citizens represented the second-highest number of people who have been granted permanent resident status in Canada.
According to Statistics Canada, Asia has become the top source region of new immigrants in the past years. In addition, the share of new immigrants from Africa also increased. “Together, immigrants, Indigenous people and their descendants have helped shape Canada as it is known today,” Statistics Canada pointed out.
– Canada’s population growth was driven by immigrants admitted from 2016 to 2021
Despite fewer immigrants being admitted during COVID, over 1.3 million recent immigrants were permanently admitted from January 1, 2016, to May 11, 2021. This is the highest number of recent immigrants recorded in a Canadian census.
– More than half of recent immigrants were admitted under the economic category
In 2021, more than half (56.3%) of recent immigrants living in Canada were admitted under the economic category as the principal applicant or dependent. Of these 748,120 economic immigrants, just over one-third (34.5%) were selected through skilled worker programs and another one-third (33.6%) through the Provincial Nominee Program.
– Largest proportion of new immigrants came from India
For the first time, India took the top spot as the primary place of birth of new immigrants to Canada, followed by the Philippines (11.4%) and China (8.9%). The last time that such a high proportion of immigrants came from a single place of birth was during the 1971 Census, when 20.9% of all recent immigrants came from the United Kingdom. But, the share of recent immigrants from Europe continued to decline, falling from 61.6% in 1971 to 10.1% in 2021.
– More recent immigrants settled outside of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver
In 2021, 92.2% of Canada’s recent immigrants lived in one of Canada’s census metropolitan areas (CMAs). As has been the case for over the last 50 years, Toronto (29.5%), Montreal (12.2%), and Vancouver (11.7%) continued to welcome most recent newcomers to Canada in 2021. However, the share settling in these three cities fell from 56.0% in 2016 to 53.4% in 2021. The most pronounced decrease was in Montréal, where the share went from 14.8% in 2016 to 12.2% in 2021.
– There were over 450 mother tongues reported in the 2021 census
In 2021, 69.4% of recent immigrants do not speak English or French as their mother tongue. Most immigrants who do not arrive in Canada speaking an official language, reported speaking Arabic (10.3%), Tagalog (8.4%), Mandarin (7.9%), and Punjabi (6.5%).
Still, almost one in four new immigrants reported speaking English as their first language. These immigrants are most often from India (20.5%), the Philippines (12.5%), the United States (10.3%) and Nigeria (10.2%).
Immigrants who speak French as their native language make up 6.5% of recent immigrants. Just over 30% are from France, followed by Cameroon (11.5%), Côte d’Ivoire (8.4%), Algeria (5.8%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5.7%).
- These are the main non-official languages spoken in Canada
- Canada projects a record-high proportion of immigrants in 2041
- Canada Immigration 2022
Let us help!
If you have a broad question about immigration to Canada, please fill out the following form. However, if you have specific questions, book a consultation session. You may alternatively fill out our assessment form. Also, to receive updates on immigration news subscribe to our newsletter.
Read this in Spanish
Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!
This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
The characters and places in the articles:
All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.
For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.