Canada is a diverse country, consisting of hundreds of cultures from all around the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of immigrants settle down in Canada to start a new life for themselves and their families. Canada’s immigration rate has remained fairly steady over the past two decades, with about 284,000 new immigrants coming to Canada between 2019-2020.

A vast majority of immigrants coming to Canada qualify for permanent residency or citizenship. Despite COVID-19’s disruptions, the Canadian government still aims to welcome more immigrants to the country, creating various new programs that are opening new doors for residency status.

Check out some of Canada’s most fascinating immigration down below.

Immigration Statistics for Canadians

  • Canada has one of the Western world’s highest citizenship rates amidst immigrants
  • About 300,000 new immigrants come to Canada annually
  • 1 in 4 Canadian workers in the healthcare system is an immigrant
  • The 2016 Census reported almost 22% of Canada’s population was composed of immigrants or permanent residents
  • Over 80% of Canada’s population growth is attributed to permanent and nonpermanent immigrants
  • 76% is the labor market participation rate amidst immigrants living in Canada
  • As of 2016, 61.8% of new immigrants coming to Canada were born in Asia
  • In 2016, 86.2% of immigrants 18 and over met Canadian citizenship requirements
 

More than 1 in 5 Canadians are immigrants.

(Statistics Canada)

The 2016 Census reported that about 22% of Canada’s population was composed of landed immigrants or permanent residents. From 2011 to 2016, 1,212,075 new immigrants arrived in Canada. Canada’s 2016 Census results mirror similar statistics to the 1921 Census, a year which held the greatest immigrant percentage since Confederation. As of 2016, over 7 million Canadians spoke their immigrant language at home, with over 140 languages reported. The most spoken languages were Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, and Tagalog.

A majority of immigrants in Canada come from Asia.

(Immigration.ca)

As of 2019, a vast majority of new immigrants to Canada came from Asia, with India leading the way. After India, China and the Philippines followed. Over 85,000 individuals immigrated from India, along with about 30,00 individuals from China and 28,000 the Philippines. Other popular countries included: Nigeria, the United States, Pakistan, Syria, Eritrea, Korea, and Iran. Canada has immigrants from 175 countries. Most of Canada’s immigrants enter the country in one of three ways: an economic program, reuniting with family, or asylum-seeking. 

In 2016, Africa replaced Europe as the second continent with the greatest recent Canadian immigration. Over 13% of immigrants came from Africa, with the most popular countries being Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Cameroon. Immigration from Europe is estimated to decrease over the next decade while Africa remains in second place.

Approximately 60% of immigrants were approved to come to Canada through the economic admission category.

(Statistics Canada)

Over half of Canada’s immigrants are granted entry through an economic program, one of Canada’s approaches to simultaneously upholding economic development and humanitarian aid. Within the economic category, 48% of immigrants were admitted though a skilled workers program and over 27% was admitted through the provincial and territorial nominees program.

The skilled workers program is a federal express entry program that requires applicants to have either Skill Type 0 (management), Skill Level A (professional), or Skill Level B (skilled trades). Skill levels are classified by the National Occupation Classification system and are grouped based on job responsibilities. The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are express entry programs tailored to specific province and territory economic and demographic needs.  

About 25% of Canada’s healthcare workers are immigrants.

(Government of Canada)

One in four Canadians working in the healthcare sector is an immigrant. Immigrants make up about 40% of Canadian dentists and about 36% of Canadian physicians. Immigrants also make up over half of the dental technologist field in Canada as well. Based on the 2016 Census, over 335,000 immigrants work in the Canadian healthcare sector. Adult immigrants in the healthcare sector were about four times more likely to be overqualified for a position compared to those with the same level of education in Canada. About 40% of immigrants working the healthcare industry completed their postsecondary education in Canada, though the specific percentages tend to drastically vary by country of origin.

More than one in four food industry workers in Canada are immigrants.

(Government of Canada)

Over 25% of those working in the food and beverage sector in Canada are immigrants. In fact, over half of Canada’s food and beverage business owners with paid staff are immigrants. Throughout Canada, the percentage of immigrant business owners in the food industry greatly varies per province. For example, in the Northwest Territories, 80% of the food and beverage business owners are immigrants compared to Prince Edward Island’s 22%. 

Immigrants tend to donate more to charity than Canadian-born citizens.

(Statistics Canada)

Almost 40% of immigrants in Canada over the age of 15 volunteer throughout the year. Between 2006 and 2016, an almost 60% increase was seen in immigrant social and community service workers. A Statistics Canada study showed that immigrants also gave more on average to charity compared to Canadian-born donors, with an annual average of $544 compared to $409. Even when comparing lower-household incomes, immigrants gave almost $200 more to charity annually than Canadian-born counterparts. Immigrants are also more likely to donate to religious-based organizations.

Looking Towards the Future

Future predictions show there will be an increase in international immigrants that settle in Canada whose home language is neither English nor French.

(Statistics Canada)

A Statistics Canada study predicted that by 2036, Canada will experience a population increase of individuals whose mother tongue is neither English nor French. These results mirror the results of a 2011 study that showed that immigrants are the vast majority of cases in which one’s mother tongue is neither French nor English.

The report acknowledged 200 languages are present in Canada, limiting the study from predicting what specific changes will occur to each language. An increase in the English-speaking population is expected to increase whereas French speakers, outside of Quebec, is expected to decrease.

The population of non-Christian immigrants as well as visible minority groups is also expected to rise over the next decade. By 2036, the visible minority population could make up 31.2% to 35.8% of Canada’s population.

By 2036, Canada’s population could be 30% made of immigrants.

(CIC News)

Population predictions indicate that Canada’s immigrant population may make up 24.5% to 30% of Canada’s total population by 2036. Almost 60% of Canada’s immigrant population is expected to come from Asia. Canada’s European immigration percentage is expected to decrease, almost by half, with an expected range of 15.4% to 17.8% by 2036, compared to 31.6% in 2011. In terms of geographic residency, the primary areas of immigrant settlement in Canada are expected to remain the same – Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. However, other provinces are expected to see increases in their immigrant population as well.

Summary

Canada’s vast multiculturalism is one of its most defining features. Immigrants help facilitate economic development, making up significant portions of Canada’s workforce across a variety of important sectors. Over the next decade, predictions indicate immigration to Canada will continue to increase, helping with potential work shortages and fostering more diversity throughout the country.

Frequently Asked Questions

About 300,000 new immigrants come to Canada annually.

As of 2019, a vast majority of new immigrants to Canada came from Asia, with India leading the way. After India, China and the Philippines followed. Over 85,000 individuals immigrated from India, along with about 30,00 individuals from China and 28,000 the Philippines. Other popular countries included: Nigeria, the United States, Pakistan, Syria, Eritrea, Korea, and Iran. Canada has immigrants from 175 countries.

The 2016 Census reported that about 22% of Canada’s population was composed of landed immigrants or permanent residents. From 2011 to 2016, 1,212,075 new immigrants arrived in Canada.

Over 25% of those working in the food and beverage sector in Canada are immigrants. In fact, over half of Canada’s food and beverage business owners with paid staff are immigrants. Throughout Canada, the percentage of immigrant business owners in the food industry greatly varies per province. For example, in the Northwest Territories, 80% of the food and beverage business owners are immigrants compared to Prince Edward Island’s 22%. 

A Statistics Canada study showed that immigrants also gave more on average to charity compared to Canadian-born donors, with an annual average of $544 compared to $409.

Sources