At nearly 4% of its population, Canada hosts the highest percentage of residents of Indian origin in the Western world, according to data published on Wednesday by Statistics Canada based on the country’s 2011 National Household Survey.
Significantly, for the first time, those who identified themselves as being of East Indian origin crossed the one million mark, with the number reaching 11,65,145. This is an increase of over 21% in the category compared to figures for the 2006 Census.
However, even those numbers do not completely reflect the total population of Indian origin in Canada since several respondents chose categories like Bengali, Tamil, Gujarati, Goan and Punjabi, which would mostly be considered of Indian origin.
Estimates based on the data place the percentage of people of Indian origin at approximately 3.7% of Canada’s total population of just over 35 million.
The report, Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada, said: “A total of 15,67,400 individuals identified themselves as South Asian, the largest group.
They accounted for one-quarter of the total visible minority population and 4.8% of Canada’s total population.” Of the South Asian population, over three-quarters has roots in India.
The report underscored the growing diversity of Canada. More than 20% of the population in 2011 was foreign born, which the release claimed was “the highest proportion among the G8 countries.”