From 2011 to 2036 - Canada: A Look at Ethnocultural Diversity and Immigration

Thu, 23 Feb 2017

Aishwarya Singh

With Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation coming up soon, the country is going through a time of radical change when it comes to its ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity.

On January 25th, 2017, Statistics Canada released a study on the changes in immigration, diversity and the languages in Canada from 2011 to 2036. According to the study, the ever-growing population of Canada is due to sustained immigration, progressively increasing number of deaths and low fertility in immigrants, since the 1990s. With 31.1% of French origin, 24.3% of Irish origin, 20.3% of English origin, 15.8% of Scottish origin, and 5.8% of German origin population in 1871, the country’s language and ethnocultural composition could change as the proportion of immigrants continues to increase until 2036, resulting in a population status twice as high as that of 1871.

According to the report Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions, 2011 to 2036, the proportion of immigrants in Canada could reach between 24.5% and 30% in 2036 as compared to 20.7% in 2011. This increase could affect the future proportion of the second-generation population in Canada. “Nearly one in five people (19.7%) would be second generation in 2036, up from 17.5% in 2011” (Statistics Canada).

As per the study conducted, in 2011, 9 in 10 immigrants lived in a census metropolitan area (CMA), an amount that could be between 91.7% to 93.4% in 2036. The immigrant population would continue to grow and be concentrated in the CMA in 2036, namely, Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal, the three main places of residence for immigrants. Of this, 33.6% to 39.1% of all immigrants in Canada would live in Toronto; 13.9% to 14.6% in Montréal; and 12.4% to 12.1% in Vancouver, in 2036. Between 46% to 52.8% of immigrants would reside in Toronto, 42.1% to 48.5% in Vancouver, between 32.7% and 40.8% in Calgary, Montréal between 28.4% and 34.2% and Winnipeg will have between 29.2% and 40.5% in 2036.

It is interesting to note that if the recent trends in immigration were to stay the same, more than half of the immigrants (between 55.7% and 57.9%) in Canada would be of Asian origin by 2036, up by at least 10% since 2011. A decline in the proportion of European immigrants will be seen as a fall between 15.4% and 17.8% has been projected for 2036. Amongst the working-age population of 15 to 64 years of age, one-third of the population would belong to a visible minority group, increasing from 19.6% in 2011 to between 34.7% and 39.9% in 2036, wherein the South Asian will still be the group with most people in 2036, similar to the year 2011. The research also states that the number of people with a non-Christian religion would increase between now and 2036, meaning that the population could almost double to between 13% and 16% as compared to 9% in 2011. The Hindu, Sikh and Muslim faiths will see their followers increase in number, although they would still account for a small proportion of the total Canadian population.

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