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Immigration in Canada: A Portrait of the Foreign-born Population, 2006 Census: Immigrants in metropolitan areas

Some signs of choosing metropolitan areas other than the 'big three'

As the proportion of new immigrants who have settled in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver has declined over time, an increasing share of newcomers choose to live in census metropolitan areas other than the three largest.

In 1996, 73.4% of immigrants who arrived in the early half of the 1990s chose to live in these three census metropolitan areas. This proportion dropped slightly, to 72.6%, in 2001 and further, to 68.9%, in 2006.

As a result, in 2006, 28.3% of newcomers resided in a metropolitan area other than Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver, up from 24.7% in 2001.

For example, six other census metropolitan areas combined — Calgary, Ottawa - Gatineau, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Hamilton and London — attracted 16.6% of all newcomers during the past five years. In 2001, these centres took in 14.3% of all newcomers.

The census metropolitan area of Calgary ranked fourth in 2006 in its share of recent immigrants. About 57,900 newcomers, or 5.2% of individuals who arrived in Canada in the last five years, settled in Calgary. This was an increase from 3.8% in 2001.

Edmonton, Winnipeg and London recorded similar gains. In 2006, Edmonton received 2.9% of all newcomers, up from 2.2% in 2001. Winnipeg's share increased from 1.4% in 2001 to 2.2% in 2006, while London's edged up from 1% to 1.2%.

Hamilton's share of newcomers remained unchanged at 1.9%. About 3.2% of newcomers settled in Ottawa - Gatineau, putting it in fifth spot, but this proportion showed a slight decline from 4% in 2001.

Table 3 Distribution of total population, total immigrant population and recent immigrants, Canada and census metropolitan areas, 2006 and 2001 censuses

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