Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Video: Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity


May 8, 2013 – Tina Chui, Sociologist, presents a brief overview of immigration and ethnocultural diversity in Canada, 2011 National Household Survey.

Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity

Length: 3:41 minutes

Alternative formats


May 8, 2013

Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Data
2011 National Household Survey

Tina Chui
Statistics Canada

The 2011 National Household Survey data on immigration, place of birth, ethnic origin, visible minorities, language, and religion were released today. These data illustrate the ethnocultural diversity of Canada's population.

In this video, I will be giving a quick overview of these data.

In 2011, Canada had an immigrant population (also known as the foreign-born population) of about 6.8 million people.

This foreign-born population represented one in five of the total population, the highest proportion among G8 countries.

{Visual}: A bar graph illustrates the proportion of foreign-born people of the total population in each G8 country. Canada is shown to have a proportion of 20.6%.

Immigrants have come from all over the world. Many have lived in Canada for many years, while others are relative newcomers.

Asia, including the Middle East, was Canada's largest source of immigrants during the past five years, Europe was the second largest. The representation of immigrants from Africa, Caribbean, Central and South America increased slightly.

{Visual}: A world map with the proportion of recent immigrants to Canada from each region of birth: Asia is shown to be the region of birth of 56.9% of recent immigrants, Europe 13.7%, Africa 12.5%, Caribbean, Central and South America 12.3%, United States 3.9%, and Oceania and others, 0.6%.

Each new wave of immigration has added to the country's ethnic and cultural diversity.

In 2011, more than 200 ethnic origins were reported in the National Household Survey. Close to four in ten people reported that they had more than one ethnic origin.

{Visual}: The names of a variety of ethnic origins appear.

Just over 19% of the total population identified themselves as a member of a visible minority group.

More than three in ten were born in Canada.

{Visual}: Twenty male and female figures are shown. Three figures are completely highlighted and most of the fourth, indicating the percentage of 19.1%.

The three largest visible minority groups were South Asian, Chinese and Black.

{Visual}: Ten male and female figures are shown. Just more than three figures are highlighted, indicating the percentage of 30.7%.

Close to three-quarters of the foreign-born population were able to conduct a conversation in more than one language. In the total population, a lower proportion can do so - roughly four in ten.

{Visual}: A horizontal bar graph illustrates the proportion of immigrants able to conduct a conversation in more than one language: 80.5% of recent immigrants, 74.5% of immigrants and 36.6% of the total population.

The majority of immigrants know at least one of Canada's two official languages – English or French.

{Visual}: A pie chart illustrates the percentage of immigrants that know English and/or French, which is 93.5%. The remaining 6.5% of the pie chart is the proportion of immigrants that know neither English nor French.

Chinese languages were the most common non-official languages known by immigrants, followed by Spanish, Tagalog, and Punjabi.

As for religion, two thirds of Canada's population reported that they were affiliated with a Christian religion. Slightly over one million people reported Muslim, representing just over 3% of the nation's total population. Many others reported themselves as Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jewish.

Nearly one-quarter of the population had no religious affiliation in 2011.

{Visual}: A pie chart indicates the proportion of each religious affiliation in the Canadian population: Christian 67.3%, no religious affiliation 23.9%, Muslim 3.2%, Hindu 1.5%, Sikh 1.4%, Buddhist 1.1%, Jewish 1.0%, other religions 0.4%, and Traditional (Aboriginal) spirituality 0.2%.

Thank you for watching this quick overview. Visit the Statistics Canada website for a more in-depth look at these data and for more information on your municipality, province or territory.

If you have any questions, sign up for our live chat session on May 10, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time. Visit the website and select this icon to register.

{Visual}: Statistics Canada's website appears, showing the icon for the "Chat with an expert" module.

{Visual}: The image fades into the Canada wordmark against a black background.

Date modified: