Canada is more diverse than it’s ever been, according to the latest statistics from the 2016 Census.
Statistics Canada released its national portrait of immigration and diversity, showing 21.9% of the population were landed immigrants or permanent residents. According to StatsCan, this proportion is close to the 22.3% recorded during the 1921 Census, the highest level since Confederation.
Last year, Canada had 1,212,075 new immigrants who had permanently settled from 2011 to 2016. These recent immigrants represented 3.5% of Canada’s total population in 2016. Over 6o% of the new immigrants were admitted under the economic category, 26.8% were admitted under the family class to join family already in the country, and 11.6% were admitted as refugees.
As for where immigrants go, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are still the cities that attract over half of all recent immigrants, but more and more are settling into the Prairies and in the Atlantic provinces.
In 2016, immigrants represented 46.1% of Toronto’s population, 40.8% of Vancouver’s and 23.4% of Montreal’s.
Past and recent sources of immigration have strongly influenced the current ethnic and cultural make-up of the population, and many ethnic origins were reported in the 2016 Census. In fact, overall, statistics are available for over 250 ethnic origins in Canada.
“In addition to contributing to the social and economic development of the country, immigrants and their descendants play a significant role in shaping and enriching the ethnic, cultural and linguistic composition of the Canadian population,” states the Census report.