Focus on Geography Series, 2016 Census

Canada

Data quality

Immigrant population

  • According to the 2016 Census, 7,540,830 people, that is, 21.9% of the Canadian population, were foreign-born (immigrants), 26,412,610 (76.6%) were Canadian-born (non-immigrants) and 506,625 (1.5%) were non-permanent residents.
  • Among immigrants living in Canada in 2016, 1,212,075 came between 2011 and 2016. These recent immigrants made up 16.1% of Canada’s immigrant population.

Figure 1.1 Number and percentage of the foreign-born population, Canada, 1871 to 2016

Figure 1.1 description Figure 1.1 Number and percentage of the foreign-born population, Canada, 1871 to 2016

Figure 1.2 Distribution (in percentage) of Canada’s immigrant population in the provinces and territories, census years 1981 to 2016

Figure 1.2 description Figure 1.2 Distribution (in percentage) of Canada’s immigrant population in the provinces and territories, census years 1981 to 2016

Figure 1.3 Distribution (in percentage) of recent immigrants to Canada living in the provinces and territories, census years 1981 to 2016

Figure 1.3 description Figure 1.3 Distribution (in percentage) of recent immigrants to Canada living in the provinces and territories, census years 1981 to 2016

Figure 1.4 Distribution (in percentage) of admission categories by year of immigration, Canada, 1980 to 2016

Figure 1.4 description Figure 1.4 Distribution (in percentage) of admission categories by year of immigration, Canada, 1980 to 2016

Number and distribution (in percentage) of the immigrant population and recent immigrants in census metropolitan areas, Canada, 2016

Geography Total population Immigrant population Recent immigrants
(2011 to 2016)
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Canada 34,460,065 100.0 7,540,830 100.0 1,212,075 100.0
Toronto 5,862,850 17.0 2,705,550 35.9 356,930 29.4
Montréal 4,009,790 11.6 936,305 12.4 179,270 14.8
Vancouver 2,426,235 7.0 989,540 13.1 142,535 11.8
Calgary 1,374,650 4.0 404,700 5.4 93,255 7.7
Ottawa - Gatineau 1,300,730 3.8 255,800 3.4 37,890 3.1
Edmonton 1,297,280 3.8 308,605 4.1 78,515 6.5
Québec 779,085 2.3 44,550 0.6 13,445 1.1
Winnipeg 761,540 2.2 181,960 2.4 52,460 4.3
Hamilton 734,885 2.1 177,070 2.3 17,425 1.4
Kitchener - Cambridge - Waterloo 516,085 1.5 118,615 1.6 13,975 1.2
London 486,500 1.4 94,690 1.3 11,960 1.0
Halifax 397,635 1.2 37,205 0.5 9,425 0.8
St. Catharines - Niagara 396,865 1.2 67,190 0.9 4,990 0.4
Oshawa 375,605 1.1 67,570 0.9 4,545 0.4
Victoria 357,695 1.0 65,615 0.9 7,690 0.6
Windsor 325,005 0.9 74,495 1.0 10,105 0.8
Saskatoon 288,900 0.8 45,160 0.6 18,585 1.5
Regina 232,615 0.7 36,910 0.5 16,195 1.3
Sherbrooke 205,735 0.6 14,550 0.2 3,940 0.3
St. John's 203,305 0.6 8,135 0.1 2,685 0.2
Barrie 194,445 0.6 26,135 0.3 2,040 0.2
Kelowna 190,565 0.6 26,450 0.4 2,995 0.2
Abbotsford - Mission 176,325 0.5 43,780 0.6 5,880 0.5
Greater Sudbury 161,820 0.5 9,360 0.1 1,005 0.1
Saguenay 157,165 0.5 2,035 0.0 405 0.0
Kingston 156,470 0.5 18,405 0.2 1,725 0.1
Trois-Rivières 150,170 0.4 4,820 0.1 1,340 0.1
Guelph 150,030 0.4 30,880 0.4 3,680 0.3
Moncton 141,525 0.4 7,955 0.1 2,840 0.2
Brantford 131,640 0.4 16,470 0.2 1,100 0.1
Saint John 123,520 0.4 6,645 0.1 1,995 0.2
Thunder Bay 118,880 0.3 10,490 0.1 695 0.1
Peterborough 118,775 0.3 10,055 0.1 750 0.1
Lethbridge 113,920 0.3 15,365 0.2 3,400 0.3
Belleville 101,285 0.3 7,370 0.1 550 0.0

Immigrant population by selected demographic, migration and ethnocultural characteristics, Canada, 2011 and 2016

  2011 2016
All immigrants Recent immigrants
(2006 to 2011)
All immigrants Recent immigrants
(2011 to 2016)
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
Population in private households 6,775,765 .. 1,162,915 .. 7,540,825 .. 1,212,080 ..
Age groups 6,775,765 100.0 1,162,915 100.0 7,540,830 100.0 1,212,075 100.0
Less than 15 years 376,915 5.6 222,720 19.2 375,655 5.0 216,315 17.8
15 to 24 years 568,215 8.4 168,055 14.5 571,640 7.6 150,210 12.4
25 to 64 years 4,471,255 66.0 733,225 63.1 4,908,650 65.1 789,425 65.1
65 years and older 1,359,380 20.1 38,920 3.3 1,684,885 22.3 56,120 4.6
Median age 47.4 .. 31.7 .. 48.6 .. 32.5 ..
Admission categories for immigrants admitted since 1980 ... ... ... ... 5,703,615 100.0 1,212,075 100.0
Economic immigrants ... ... ... ... 2,994,135 52.5 731,115 60.3
Principal applicants ... ... ... ... 1,220,755 21.4 311,880 25.7
Secondary applicants ... ... ... ... 1,773,380 31.1 419,235 34.6
Immigrants sponsored by family ... ... ... ... 1,782,485 31.3 324,595 26.8
Refugees ... ... ... ... 858,845 15.1 140,515 11.6
Region of birth1 6,775,770 100.0 1,162,915 100.0 7,540,830 100.0 1,212,075 100.0
Americas 1,058,010 15.6 188,385 16.2 1,127,810 15.0 152,515 12.6
Europe 2,127,785 31.4 159,745 13.7 2,088,410 27.7 140,035 11.6
Africa 492,025 7.3 145,720 12.5 637,485 8.5 162,800 13.4
Asia 3,041,100 44.9 661,575 56.9 3,629,160 48.1 748,705 61.8
Oceania 54,530 0.8 7,145 0.6 56,930 0.8 7,955 0.7

Top places of birth of immigrants and recent immigrants,2 Canada, 2016

Place of birth 2016
Number Percent Rank
Immigrant population 7,540,825 100.0 ...
India 668,570 8.9 1
China 649,260 8.6 2
Philippines 588,305 7.8 3
United Kingdom 499,120 6.6 4
United States 253,715 3.4 5
Italy 236,640 3.1 6
Hong Kong 208,935 2.8 7
Pakistan 202,255 2.7 8
Viet Nam 169,245 2.2 9
Iran 154,420 2.0 10
Recent immigrants (2011 to 2016) 1,212,075 100.0 ...
Philippines 188,805 15.6 1
India 147,190 12.1 2
China 129,020 10.6 3
Iran 42,070 3.5 4
Pakistan 41,480 3.4 5
United States 33,055 2.7 6
Syria 29,945 2.5 7
United Kingdom 24,445 2.0 8
France 24,150 2.0 9
Korea, South 21,710 1.8 10

Immigrant population and recent immigrants by non-official language spoken most often at home,3 Canada, 2016

Languages 2016
Number Percent Rank
Immigrant population 7,540,830 100.0 ...
Mandarin 393,945 5.2 1
Cantonese 388,935 5.2 2
Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) 357,535 4.7 3
Punjabi (Panjabi) 326,490 4.3 4
Arabic 265,295 3.5 5
Spanish 255,815 3.4 6
Urdu 154,660 2.1 7
Persian (Farsi) 152,980 2.0 8
Italian 132,000 1.8 9
Russian 118,680 1.6 10
Recent immigrants (2011 to 2016) 1,212,075 100.0 ...
Tagalog (Pilipino, Filipino) 131,020 10.8 1
Mandarin 99,420 8.2 2
Arabic 88,655 7.3 3
Punjabi (Panjabi) 61,245 5.1 4
Spanish 51,285 4.2 5
Persian (Farsi) 44,755 3.7 6
Urdu 33,595 2.8 7
Russian 23,565 1.9 8
Cantonese 21,960 1.8 9
Hindi 21,455 1.8 10

Generation status

Population by generation status and median age, Canada, 2011 and 2016

Generation status 2011 2016
Number Percent Median age Number Percent Median age
Total population in private households 32,852,320 100.0 40.1 34,460,060 100.0 40.7
First generation (born abroad) 7,217,300 22.0 46.3 8,219,550 23.9 46.9
Second generation (born in Canada with at least one parent born abroad) 5,702,725 17.4 31.9 6,100,725 17.7 30.6
Born in Canada with both parents born abroad 3,127,205 9.5 28.5 3,401,070 9.9 26.2
Born in Canada with one parent born in Canada and the other born abroad 2,575,515 7.8 36.4 2,699,655 7.8 35.7
Third generation or more (born in Canada with both parents born in Canada) 19,932,300 60.7 38.9 20,139,785 58.4 40.1

Visible minority population

  • The 2016 Census identified 7,674,580 people as belonging to the visible minority population, making up 22.3% of the Canadian population. The three largest visible minority groups were South Asian, Chinese and Black.

Figure 1.5 Number and proportion of the population belonging to a visible minority group, Canada, 2001 to 2016

Figure 1.5 description Figure 1.5 Number and proportion of the population belonging to a visible minority group, Canada, 2001 to 2016

Population by visible minority group and median age, Canada, 2011 and 2016

  2011 2016
Number % of the total population % of the visible minority population Median age Number % of the total population % of the visible minority population Median age
Total population in private households 32,852,320 100.0 .. 40.1 34,460,060 100.0 .. 40.7
Visible minority population 6,264,750 19.1 100.0 33.4 7,674,580 22.3 100.0 33.9
South Asian 1,567,405 4.8 25.0 32.8 1,924,635 5.6 25.1 33.5
Chinese 1,324,745 4.0 21.1 38.6 1,577,060 4.6 20.5 38.4
Black 945,665 2.9 15.1 29.5 1,198,545 3.5 15.6 29.6
Filipino 619,315 1.9 9.9 34.7 780,125 2.3 10.2 35.6
Latin American 381,280 1.2 6.1 33.6 447,325 1.3 5.8 35.8
Arab 380,620 1.2 6.1 30.2 523,235 1.5 6.8 30.3
Southeast Asian 312,080 0.9 5.0 34.2 313,260 0.9 4.1 34.8
West Asian 206,840 0.6 3.3 32.9 264,305 0.8 3.4 34.7
Korean 161,125 0.5 2.6 33.8 188,710 0.5 2.5 35.1
Japanese 87,265 0.3 1.4 37.0 92,920 0.3 1.2 38.2
Visible minority, n.i.e. 106,475 0.3 1.7 32.7 132,090 0.4 1.7 34.5
Multiple visible minorities 171,935 0.5 2.7 24.4 232,375 0.7 3.0 23.6
Not a visible minority 26,587,575 80.9 .. 42.1 26,785,480 77.7 .. 43.3

Number and percentage of the visible minority population by census metropolitan area, Canada, 2016

Geography Total population Visible minority population
Number Percent Number Percent
Canada 34,460,060 100.0 7,674,580 100.0
Toronto 5,862,850 17.0 3,011,905 39.2
Vancouver 2,426,235 7.0 1,185,680 15.4
Montréal 4,009,790 11.6 904,840 11.8
Calgary 1,374,650 4.0 463,450 6.0
Edmonton 1,297,280 3.8 363,990 4.7
Ottawa - Gatineau 1,300,730 3.8 280,985 3.7
Ottawa - Gatineau (Ontario part) 973,340 2.8 243,115 3.2
Winnipeg 761,540 2.2 195,370 2.5
Hamilton 734,880 2.1 130,310 1.7
Kitchener - Cambridge - Waterloo 516,085 1.5 99,735 1.3
London 486,500 1.4 78,325 1.0
Windsor 325,005 0.9 66,480 0.9
Oshawa 375,605 1.1 64,560 0.8
Abbotsford - Mission 176,325 0.5 51,230 0.7
Victoria 357,690 1.0 50,310 0.7
Saskatoon 288,905 0.8 49,295 0.6
Halifax 397,635 1.2 45,290 0.6
Regina 232,615 0.7 41,230 0.5
Québec 779,090 2.3 38,260 0.5
Ottawa - Gatineau (Quebec part) 327,390 1.0 37,870 0.5
St. Catharines - Niagara 396,870 1.2 37,105 0.5
Guelph 150,030 0.4 25,575 0.3
Barrie 194,450 0.6 17,595 0.2
Kelowna 190,565 0.6 14,930 0.2
Lethbridge 113,920 0.3 12,360 0.2
Kingston 156,465 0.5 12,340 0.2
Sherbrooke 205,735 0.6 11,990 0.2
Brantford 131,640 0.4 10,240 0.1
St. John's 203,305 0.6 8,760 0.1
Moncton 141,525 0.4 6,980 0.1
Greater Sudbury 161,815 0.5 6,045 0.1
Saint John 123,520 0.4 5,895 0.1
Peterborough 118,780 0.3 5,705 0.1
Thunder Bay 118,875 0.3 4,790 0.1
Trois-Rivières 150,165 0.4 4,665 0.1
Belleville 101,285 0.3 4,190 0.1
Saguenay 157,170 0.5 2,005 0.0

Ethnic and cultural origins of the population

The 10 most commonly reported ethnic origins,4 Canada, 2016

Ethnic origin Number of responses % Rank
Canadian 11,135,970 32.3 1
English 6,320,085 18.3 2
Scottish 4,799,010 13.9 3
French 4,670,595 13.6 4
Irish 4,627,000 13.4 5
German 3,322,400 9.6 6
Chinese 1,769,195 5.1 7
Italian 1,587,965 4.6 8
First Nations (North American Indian) 1,525,570 4.4 9
East Indian 1,374,710 4.0 10

Figure 1.6 Percentage of the population by region of ethnic origin,5 Canada, 2016

Figure 1.6 description Figure 1.6 Percentage of the population by region of ethnic origin,5 Canada, 2016

Symbols:

···
not applicable
··
incompletely enumerated Indian reserve or Indian settlement
r
revised
E
use with caution

Source:

Statistics Canada. 2017. Focus on Geography Series, 2016 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-404-X2016001. Ottawa, Ontario. Analytical products, 2016 Census.

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