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Immigrant Demographics Across Communities

Posted on: January 30, 2024

In British Columbia, where immigration plays a significant role, communities are experiencing remarkable demographic shifts. From Abbotsford to West Vancouver, immigrants are shaping the landscape and contributing to growth and development, and contributing to Immigrant Demographics Across Communities.

Understanding Immigrant Demographics Across Communities is crucial for policymakers, businesses, and community leaders. It helps to effectively address the diverse needs, preferences, and challenges of these populations. It enables the creation of inclusive policies, tailored services, and opportunities that harness the potential of immigrant contributions to the area. An understanding of immigrant demographics fosters social cohesion, intercultural understanding, and equitable access to resources, ultimately enriching the experience of all residents.

The Crucial Role of Immigrants in Canadian Communities

Immigrants play an important role in the growth and development of our communities. As Canada continues to welcome nearly 500,000 newcomers per year, it is important to remember the value immigrants play.

  1. Economic Contribution: Immigrants bring diverse skills, talents, and experiences to the Canadian workforce. Many immigrants are highly educated and possess specialized skills that contribute to innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. They often fill gaps in the labour market, particularly in industries experiencing shortages of skilled workers.
  2. Demographic Growth: Immigration helps sustain Canada’s population growth and demographic balance. As birth rates decline and the population ages, immigrants help replenish the workforce and support the sustainability of social programs like healthcare and pensions.
  3. Cultural Enrichment: Canada is celebrated for its cultural diversity, which is enriched by the contributions of immigrants from various backgrounds. Immigrants bring their languages, traditions, cuisines, arts, and perspectives, contributing to a vibrant and inclusive society.
  4. Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Many immigrants are entrepreneurs who establish businesses and create employment opportunities. They contribute to the dynamism of the Canadian economy by launching start-ups, introducing new ideas, and driving innovation.
  5. Community Revitalization: Immigrants often settle in smaller towns and rural areas, revitalizing communities that may be experiencing population decline or economic stagnation. Their presence can stimulate local economies, support small businesses, and promote cultural exchange.
  6. Global Connections: Immigrants maintain connections with their countries of origin, facilitating trade, investment, and cultural exchange between Canada and other nations. Their transnational ties contribute to Canada’s global networks and diplomatic relations.
  7. Social Cohesion and Diversity: Immigration fosters social cohesion by promoting interactions among people from different backgrounds and fostering mutual understanding and respect. It helps challenge stereotypes, combat discrimination, and build cohesive, multicultural communities.

How is Your Community Changing with the Influx of Immigrants?

Using the latest numbers from Census 2021 data, we have created Immigrant Demographics by Community throughout BC. For newcomers, understanding the demographics of their new communities is invaluable. For service providers and businesses, it offers insights crucial for program planning, service delivery, and customer engagement.

  • Period of Arrival
  • Immigrants by Age Group
  • Countries of Origin
  • Immigration Arrival Categories
  • Languages Spoken
  • Languages Spoken at Work
  • Religious Affiliation
  • Education Levels
  • Labour Force Participation
  • Occupations
  • Income

The following communities were examined using 2021 Census Data. Click on the community’s name for an in-depth profile.

Over the past two decades, from 2001 to 2021, the immigrant population in Abbotsford has increased by 60%, doubling the growth rate of the total population at 31%. Immigration contributed to 46% of the growth in Abbotsford during this period. Immigrants as a percentage of population has steadily risen from 23.4% in 2001 to 28.6% in 2021, a significantly faster rate of increase than in Greater Vancouver.

Over the past two decades, Burnaby’s immigrant population has increased by 37%, versus 27% for its population overall. The city is one of the two in Greater Vancouver where more than half of residents were born outside Canada.

Immigration accounted for 76% of net population growth over the past two decades. The percentage of immigrants making up Coquitlam’s total population has shown steady increases, rising from 36.6% in 2001 to 45.8% in 2021.

Immigration accounted for 94% of net growth over the past two decades, from 2001 to 2021. Delta’s total population has shown steady increases, rising from 26.6% of all residents in 2001, to 33.1% in 2021.

Immigration accounted for 16% of net growth over the past two decades. The immigrant population has increased by more than half (56%) over the last two decades, slightly faster than the total population (50%).

Langley Township
With an increase of 13.1% between 2016 and 2021, the Township of Langley was the fastest growing municipality in Greater Vancouver. And, at 32.9%, its immigrant population grew much faster than the population overall. Between 2001 and 2021, the immigrant population more than doubled at 124%.

Maple Ridge
Between 2001 and 2021, immigrants accounted for 37% of the net population growth in the area. During the same period, the immigrant population increased by 96%, more than double the growth rate of the total population (42%).

New Westminster
Immigration accounted for 60% of net population growth over the past two decades. The percentage of immigrants has steadily increased from 28.0% in 2001 to 37.5% in 2021.

North Vancouver City
Over the past two decades, from 2001 to 2021, the immigrant population in the City of North Vancouver has increased by 47%. Immigration accounted for slightly more than half (53%) of overall growth. The percentage of immigrants has also risen, from 33.9% in 2001 to 38.3% in 2021.

North Vancouver District
Immigration accounted for 69% of net growth over the past two decades, between 2001 and 2021. The percentage of immigrants has shown a slow but steady rise, from 30% in 2001 to 32.3%, in 2021.

Port Coquitlam
Immigration contributed 81% of net population growth between 2001 and 2021. Over the past two decades, Port Coquitlam (55%) outpaced GreaterVancouver (47%) in the growth of its immigrant population. However, the city recorded only an 18% increase in its total population.

In recent decades Richmond has experienced rapid population growth with a notable contribution from immigration. Between 2001 and 2021, the immigrant population rose by 37,300, accounting for 85% of the total increase. The city has consistently maintained a larger share of immigrants than in almost all other Canadian municipalities in 2021.

Immigration is an essential driver of population growth, contributing 63% of net population growth between 2001 and 2021. The immigrant population growth s lowed slightly in the 2016-2021 period.

Despite having the highest intake of recent immigrants (41,360) among B.C. municipalities, Vancouver recorded relatively slow growth in its immigrant population. Over the past two decades, this has increased just 11%, even as the city grew by 19%. In comparison, Greater Vancouver saw 47% growth in the immigrant population and 31% overall. This is an indication that many immigrants who initially landed in Vancouver subsequently made their way to more suburban areas or to other provinces.

West Vancouver
While West Vancouver’s population growth has been slow, it would have shown significant decline if not for immigration. In fact, immigrants have accounted for 257% of net population growth over the past two decades. The percentage of immigrants has steadily increased, from 35.7% in 2001 to 45.7% in 2021. However, during the latest census period, the growth

The story of Canadian communities is incomplete without acknowledging the invaluable contributions of immigrants. Their economic prowess, cultural richness, and commitment to building inclusive societies make Canada stronger and more resilient. As we celebrate diversity and embrace the spirit of inclusivity, let us continue to welcome and support immigrants, recognizing that their success is intertwined with the prosperity of our nation. In embracing immigrants, we embrace the essence of Canada itself—a land of opportunity, diversity, and boundless possibilities.