In the next 20 years, nearly 60% of Canada’s immigrant population could be born in Asia, and the Indian subcontinent could account for the largest share of the country’s visible minority population, according to a new report released on Thursday.
The report, Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions 2001 to 2036, states that by the latter year, “between 55.7% and 57.9% of immigrants would be born in Asia — mainly in China, India and the Philippines”.
While the demographic study by Statistics Canada takes into account different scenarios, it predicts that under all of them, South Asians will be the largest minority group, followed by the Chinese. The estimated population of those from the subcontinent has been placed at three million.
Extrapolating from these figures, and since immigrants from India already account for the vast majority from within South Asia, they could comprise nearly 5% of Canada’s population by 2036 and could be level with the Chinese in terms of being the single largest country of origin for minority groups.
The report was released as Canada prepares to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Confederation this summer. The data shows how the demographic composition of the North American nation has altered.
Based on different scenarios, the proportion of immigrants as part of the population will range between 24.5% and 30%, as against 20.7% in 2011. “These would be the highest proportions since 1871,” the report stated.
By 2036, it posits “between 55.7% and 57.9% of Canada’s immigrant population could have been born in Asia, up from 44.8% estimated in 2011”.
It also marks quite a shift over 50 years, as it notes, “In 1986, 62.2% of immigrants living in Canada were born in Europe and only 18.4% were born in Asia. In 2011, the portrait was very different, with people born in Asia (Chinese, Indian and Filipino being the three main groups) accounting for most of the immigrants living in Canada (44.8%), while immigrants born in Europe represented no more than 31.6% of the total.”
Canada’s first census was conducted in 1871, four years after the formation of the Confederation or the modern Canadian nation. At that time, only about 16% of the population was made up of immigrants and of that nearly 85% originated from the British Isles.
How that has changed is among the report’s highlights: “Together, immigrants and second-generation individuals could represent nearly one person in two (between 44.2% and 49.7%) in 2036, up from 2011 (38.2%).”