South Asians, including Indians, have become the largest visible minority group in Canada, surpassing the Chinese for the first time, according to a latest census data.
The data released by Statistics Canada on Wedensday shows visible minorities have surpassed the five million mark as a new wave of immigrants from Asia is changing the face of Canada at a staggering rate.
Visible minorities now comprise more than 16 per cent of the total population as their number skyrocketed by 27 per cent between 2001 and 2006, more than five times the previous increase of 5.4 per cent.
The 2006 Census enumerated an estimated 1,262,900 individuals who identified themselves as South Asian, a growth rate of 37.7 per cent from 917,100 individuals in 2001. They represented one-quarter (24.9 per cent) of all visible minorities, or 4.0 per cent of the total population in Canada.
In contrast, the number of individuals who identified themselves as Chinese increased 18.2 per cent from 1,029,400 in 2001 to 1,216,600 in 2006. Chinese accounted for 24.0 per cent of the visible minority population and 3.9 per cent of the total Canadian population.
The number of those identifying themselves as Black, the third largest visible minority group, rose 18.4 per cent from 662,200 individuals in 2001 to an estimated 783,800. They accounted for 15.5 per cent of the visible minority population and 2.5 per cent of the total population in 2006.
Other visible minority groups included Filipinos, who represented 8.1 per cent of the visible minority population, Latin Americans (6.0 per cent), Arabs (5.2per cent), Southeast Asians (4.7 per cent), West Asians (3.1per cent), Koreans (2.8 per cent) and Japanese (1.6 per cent).