India second largest source of Canadian immigrants in 2011-16 period: Report

Revising statistical figures for their country, almost an eighth of immigrants who landed and permanently settled in Canada in the five-year period between 2011 and 2016 were from India, according to the latest results from the 2016 census released by Statistics Canada.

Canada PM Justin Trudeau celebrating Diwali.
Canada PM Justin Trudeau celebrating Diwali. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@justintrudeau

In its table of the top 10 countries of birth of recent immigrants in 2016, those from India - at 147, 190 - account for 12.1% of total number of 1,212,075, the Hindustan Times reported.

India was the second-largest largest source nation, trailing only the Philippines. China completes the list of the top three nations sending immigrants to Canada. 

These results “provide a new national statistical portrait of immigration and ethnocultural diversity in Canada”, according to a statement from Statistics Canada.

According to the document, the largest contingent of visible minorities in Canada is from South Asia, with 1,924,635 people representing more than 25% of that particular population. While this data is not further broken down by country of origin, it appears to indicate that the Indian-origin population in Canada may be nearing 1.5 million, as this segment is estimated to comprise three-fourth of immigrants from the subcontinent.

The next two largest visible minority groups are the Chinese (at 20.5% of the total) and blacks (at 15.6% of that population).

Given the three largest source countries of new Canadian immigrants, it isn’t surprising that nearly half the foreign-born population is from Asia. 

“Changes in the main source countries of immigrants have transformed the overall portrait of Canada's foreign-born population. In 2016, almost half (48.1%) of the foreign-born population was born in Asia (including the Middle East), while a lower proportion (27.7%) was born in Europe,” the statement said. 

This was also the first time that Africa ranked second among the source continents for immigrants, overtaking Europe.

According to Statistics Canada, “Current immigration trends - if they continue - and the aging of established cohorts of immigrants mean that from 55.7% to 57.9% of all immigrants would be born in Asia by 2036, and from 15.4% to 17.8% would be born in Europe.”

The vast majority of new immigrants were admitted to Canada as economic migrants. That section accounts for more than 60% of the new immigrants during the given five-year period, while those under the family class, joining kin already in Canada, was at nearly 27% and refugees accounted for nearly 12%.

The three major cities of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal continue to be the place of residence of more than half of all immigrants, including those that have arrived recently.

Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Associate Editor

Tushaar has extensive experience as a journalist and in founding two start-up newspapers. He has developed editorial models for both copy and content, and has written several articles, news reports on a wide range of topics. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College and earned a post-graduate diploma in TV Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai. He has worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation. 


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