Immigrants make up the largest share of the population in over 150 years and continue to shape who we are as Canadians

Highlights from StatsCan on the 2021 Census (starting to work though the data tables for further analysis):

Almost one in four people (23.0%) counted during the 2021 Census are or have been a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada. This was the highest proportion since Confederation, topping the previous record of 22.3% in 1921, and the largest proportion among G7 countries.

Just over 1.3 million new immigrants settled permanently in Canada from 2016 to 2021, the highest number of recent immigrants recorded in a Canadian census.

The share of recent immigrants settling in Atlantic Canada almost tripled in 15 years, rising from 1.2% in 2006 to 3.5% in 2021.

Over half of recent immigrants living in Canada were admitted under the economic category. Of these 748,120 economic immigrants, just over one-third (34.5%) were selected through skilled worker programs and another one-third (33.6%) through the Provincial Nominee Program.

The proportion of immigrants who first came to Canada temporarily on work or study permits or as asylum claimants before being admitted as permanent residents was especially high among recent immigrants who settled since 2016 (36.6%).

Asia, including the Middle East, remained the continent of birth for most recent immigrants (62.0%).

Almost one in five recent immigrants (18.6%) were born in India, making it the leading country of birth for recent immigration to Canada.

In contrast, the share of recent immigrants from Europe continued to decline, falling from 61.6% in 1971 to 10.1% in 2021.

The vast majority (92.7%) of recent immigrants are able to conduct a conversation in either English or French.

The share of second-generation Canadians (children of immigrants) younger than 15 years with at least one foreign-born parent rose from 26.7% in 2011 to 31.5% in 2021.

Source: Immigrants make up the largest share of the population in over 150 years and continue to shape who we are as Canadians

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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