According to Daniel Hiebert, a professor of geography in the University of British Columbia, the settlement of Sikh immigrants in Abbotsford, along with Surrey, also in British Columbia, and Brampton in Ontario, is unique among Canadian immigration patterns.
"Immigrants used to arrive and settle in the big cities and then move out to the suburbs," the report quoted Hiebert as saying.
"Canadians haven't seen a lot of this (settling in smaller cities) in the past."
The new data also revealed that half of the 5,935 immigrants who settled in Abbotsford between 2006 and 2011 came from India, with the next largest number coming from the United Kingdom (nine per cent) followed by Americans (4.4 per cent).
The doubling of the Sikh population (in Abbotsford) is adding to the very fabric of what makes our community so unique in its diversity, Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, coordinator of the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of Fraser Valley, was quoted as saying.
Sikhs comprise 1.4 per cent of Canada's population of around 35 million, according to the new data.