The flow of immigrants into Canada has been hovering in historically high territory in recent years, and the Canadian Immigration Statistics are something that we keep a close eye on here at ARIANNE. As relocation specialists, it’s critical for us to understand who is moving from where to where, and when and, if possible, why. So we are always watching the numbers, and these days the numbers are telling a pretty interesting story.
Canada’s most recent Census data, gathered in 2016 and released in 2017, reveals that 21.9% of the nation’s population identify themselves as immigrants. Only the 1921 Census indicated a higher proportion, when 22.3% of the population was foreign-born, the highest percentage on record in Canadian history.
Numbers dropped around the middle of the twentieth century, picking up again around the 1990s, with a steady increase over the past 15-20 years. As of 2016, the total number of foreign-born immigrants in Canada amounted to roughly 7.5 million.
Besides the overall rise in immigration figures, the most notable difference between the immigration population of today compared to 50 years ago has to do with the ethnic make-up of those foreign-born residents. In 1971, an even 50% of Canadian immigrants claimed European descent. As of 2016, that proportion had dropped to just 21%, dramatically overtaken by immigrants of Asian descent, who comprised 48% in 2016, up from a meager 5% in 1971. The three largest sources of new immigrants are the Philippines (15.6%), India (12.1%) China (10.6%).
U.S immigrants in that same period fell from 30% to just 7%, while African immigrants surged from 1% to 9%, and Latin American / Caribbean immigrants rose from 3% to 12% of Canada’s total foreign-born population. Statistics are now available for more than 250 different ethnicities of Canadian immigrants.
The destinations of new arrivals has also been shifting somewhat, although not nearly as dramatically. Most immigrants, 39%, are still heading to the province of Ontario, especially the city of Toronto. But that’s a sharp drop from 55.9% in 2001. What has changed in recent years is the increase of immigrants to the Prairie Provinces. More and more newcomers are choosing urban areas like Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Winnipeg. Still, a whopping 56% of foreign-born Canadians now live in Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, even though these cities only make up one third of the country’s total population.
The greatest number of job openings in Canada continue to be in the unskilled services sector. But for highly skilled foreigners, Canada offers Skilled Worker visas and a Fast-Track entry system that can make the immigration process relatively quick and straightforward. Most of those high-demand jobs are in the medical fields, but also include engineers, geologists and occupational therapists.
If you’re looking to move to Canada from anywhere in the world, and you need help getting relocated, ARIANNE Relocation Specialists offer a wide variety of products and services to help you make a smooth and successful transition to your new home.
Sources: www.cbc.ca, canada.ca, canadianimmigrants.com, www.immigroup.com