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India the second-largest source nation for immigrants in Canada

More than 60% of immigrants between 2011 and 2016 were admitted to Canada as economic migrants.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2017 07:59 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrates Diwali with the Canada India Business Council last week.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau celebrates Diwali with the Canada India Business Council last week.(via Twitter)

Almost an eighth of immigrants who landed and permanently settled in Canada in the five-year period between 2011 and 2016 were from India, according to the latest results from the 2016 census released by Statistics Canada.

In its table for the top 10 countries of birth of recent immigrants in 2016, those from India - at 147,190 - account for 12.1% of total number of 1212075.

India was the second-largest largest source nation, trailing only the Philippines. China completes the list of the top three nations sending immigrants to Canada. 

These results “provide a new national statistical portrait of immigration and ethnocultural diversity in Canada”, according to a statement from Statistics Canada.

 According to the document, the largest contingent of visible minorities in Canada is from South Asia, with 1,924,635 people representing more than 25% of that particular population. While this data is not further broken down by country of origin, it appears to indicate that the Indian-origin population in Canada may be nearing 1.5 million, as this segment is estimated to comprise three-fourth of immigrants from the subcontinent.

The next two largest visible minority groups are the Chinese (at 20.5% of the total) and blacks (at 15.6% of that population).

Given the three largest source countries of new Canadian immigrants, it isn’t surprising that nearly half the foreign-born population is from Asia. 

“Changes in the main source countries of immigrants have transformed the overall portrait of Canada's foreign-born population. In 2016, almost half (48.1%) of the foreign-born population was born in Asia (including the Middle East), while a lower proportion (27.7%) was born in Europe,” the statement said. 

This was also the first time that Africa ranked second among the source continents for immigrants, overtaking Europe.

According to Statistics Canada, “Current immigration trends - if they continue - and the aging of established cohorts of immigrants mean that from 55.7% to 57.9% of all immigrants would be born in Asia by 2036, and from 15.4% to 17.8% would be born in Europe.”

The vast majority of new immigrants were admitted to Canada as economic migrants. That section accounts for more than 60% of the new immigrants during the given five-year period, while those under the family class, joining kin already in Canada, was at nearly 27% and refugees accounted for nearly 12%.

The three major cities of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal continue to be the place of residence of more than half of all immigrants, including those that have arrived recently.