Last Updated on August 23, 2016
A new chart shows how Canada’s immigrant population has dramatically changed over the last 25 years.
The Pew Research Centre tool allows easy comparison of the size and source country of immigrant populations around the world.
Canada shows one of the most dramatic shifts, from an influx once dominated by UK nationals, to one that is spearheaded by Asian migrants from China and India.
Overall, Canada’s immigrant population as a proportion of the general population has steadily risen as successive governments have looked to plug the demographic gap by attracting high-calibre foreigners.
Canada’s Immigrant Population by Country (%)
The chart uses data sets from 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2015 to compare the number of people living in a given country that were born elsewhere.
Canada’s 1990 profile is dominated by people born in the UK, who made up nearly 16 per cent of the immigrant population here 25 years ago.
At that time, it is revealing to point out that Chinese immigrants did not feature in the top five source country nationalities.
But over time the profile of Canada’s immigrant population has shifted dramatically, with Chinese nationals accounting for less than four per cent in 1990 to more than nine per cent of the total by 2015.
Immigrants from the US have been very steady, increasing by slightly more than one percentage point over that time, although showing a downward trend. Should Donald Trump be elected president in November, that trend could be reversed.
The percentage of UK immigrants, meanwhile, has halved over the reference period.
Over the years it has become clear that several governments have supported policies promotingmanaged levels of immigration to Canada.
The immigrant population, when expressed as a percentage of the total, has risen from under 16 to almost 22 over the 25-year period.
Canada’s Immigrant Population as Percentage of Total
The intrinsic value of that growing immigrant population is becoming increasingly clear.
A leading study gives conclusive evidence that immigrants are more likely to own businesses than their Canadian counterparts, a key component for economic growth.
Released in March 2016 and entitled ‘Immigration, Business Ownership and Employment in Canada’, the study concludes that ‘rates of private business ownership and unincorporated self-employment are higher among immigrants than among the Canadian-born population’.
Meanwhile, a recent Statistics Canada paper entitled ‘Educational and Labour Market Outcomes of Childhood Immigrants by Admission Class’, gives compelling evidence that the children of immigrants perform better in high school and at university that their Canadian-born peers.
This latest Pew Research Centre data provides further evidence that China dominates the flow of immigrants to the western world in the 21st century.
Canada should consider modifying current policies to attract more of its share of the investment immigration pie by redesigning existing programs and devising new ones to become more competitive among top tier nations in the residence and citizenship-through-investment industry.
Crunching the Numbers: Canada’s Immigrant Population by Year
|2015||Number of people||Percent age of total||Percent age of
|Number of people||Percentage of total||Percent age of
|2000||Number of people||Percentage of total||Percent age of
|1990||Number of people||Percent age of total||Percent age of
|4) Hong Kong||230,000||0.83||5.31|
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