China, Philippines and India Top Sources for Immigration to Canada in 2012

Vancouver International Airport, pictured above, was the port of entry of many the over 250,000 permanent residents admitted in 2012

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has released immigration figures for 2012, and for the first time since 2009, it shows China regaining its status as the largest source country for immigration to Canada.

From 2010 to 2011, the Philippines was the leading country of origin of immigrants to Canada, but the 32,704 Filipino permanent residents admitted in 2012 were edged out by the 32,990 Chinese immigrants arriving last year.

India remained the third largest source country for immigration to Canada, with 28,889 permanent residents admitted in 2012 – a significant increase from the 24,965 admitted in 2011.

In total, 257,515 permanent residents were admitted in 2012, a level that in the post war era has only been surpassed in 2005 and 2010. The long term trend over the last 18 years shows increasing immigration levels, with Canada admitting an average of 30,250 more permanent residents per year in the 2006 to 2012 period than from 1996 to 2005.

Visible Minority Population of Canada Increasing

A Toronto Star story reports that the visible minority population in Canada is growing, and at a rate faster than the general population:

StatsCan projects that the visible minority population in this country will continue to be bolstered by sustained immigration and slightly higher fertility rates in the next 15 years or so.

By 2031, Canada could be home to 14.4 million people belonging to a visible minority group, more than double the 5.3 million reported in 2006. The rest of the population, in contrast, is projected to increase by less than 12 per cent during that period, the federal statistical agency projects.

Immigration has drastically changed Canada's major cities. Nearly 20 percent of the Greater Vancouver Region's population is of Chinese origin. (City of Vancouver)

The StatsCan projections predict that by 2031, South Asians will make up the largest visible minority ethnic group in Canada, with a population of 4.1 million, and the Chinese population will be the second largest, at 3.5 million.

Immigration has transformed Canada’s major cities in recent decades. Chinese immigration has increased the percentage of the Vancouver metropolitan area’s population that is of Chinese origin to nearly 20 percent.

In Canada’s largest city, Toronto, visible minorities now make up nearly 47 percent of the total population, and nearly 50 percent of the city’s residents are foreign born.