Asian Canadians

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Asian Canadians
Total population
17.7% of the total Canadian population (2016 Census)
Regions with significant populations
Southern Ontario · Lower Mainland British Columbia · Most urban areas
Canadian English · Canadian French · Asian languages
Christianity · Buddhism/East Asian religions · Islam · Judaism · Hinduism · Sikhism · Non-religious · Other
Related ethnic groups
Asian Americans · British Asian · British East Asian · Asian Australians · Asian New Zealanders · Asian French · Asian people

Asian Canadians are Canadians who can trace their ancestry back to the continent of Asia or Asian people. The term refers to a group of people that includes diverse populations, who have their Progenitor from East Asia, Southeast Asia, or South Asia. Canadians with Asian ancestry comprise the largest and fastest growing visible minority group in Canada, with roughly 17.7% of the Canadian population. Most Asian Canadians are concentrated in the urban areas of Southern Ontario, the Greater Vancouver area, Calgary, and other large Canadian cities.

Asian Canadians considered visible minorities may be classified as East Asian Canadian (e.g. Taiwanese Canadians, Chinese Canadians, Korean Canadians, Japanese Canadians); Southeast Asian Canadian (e.g. Vietnamese Canadians, Filipino Canadians); South Asian Canadians (e.g. Sri Lankan Canadians, Bangladeshi Canadians, Indian Canadians, Pakistani Canadians); or West Asian Canadians (e.g. Lebanese Canadians, Iraqi Canadians).[1]


During the 19th century, many Chinese arrived to take part in the British Columbia gold rushes and later for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Chinese who came from Guangdong Province helped build the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Fraser Canyon. Many Japanese people arrived in the 1890s and became fishermen and merchants in British Columbia. In 1923, the federal government passed the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, which banned all Chinese immigration, and led to immigration restrictions for all East Asians. In 1947, the act was repealed.

During and after the Vietnam War, a large wave of Vietnamese refugees began arriving in Canada. The Canadian Parliament created the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada in 1985 to better address issues surrounding Canada-Asia relations, including trade, citizenship and immigration. When Hong Kong reverted to mainland Chinese rule, people emigrated and found new homes in Canada.

In recent decades, a large number of people have come to Canada from India and other South Asian countries. As of 2016, South Asians make up over 16 percent of the Greater Toronto Area's population, and are projected to make up 24 percent of the region's population by 2031.[2]

Today, Asian Canadians form a significant minority within the population, and over 5 million Asians call Canada their home. Often referred by the Canadian media as "model minorities", Asian Canadians are among the educated and socioeconomically affluent groups in Canada. Asian Canadian students, in particular those of East Asian or South Asian background, make up the majority of students at several Canadian universities.


The Asian Canadian population by province or territory according to the 2016 Census.[3]

Province or territory Asian origins %
 Ontario 3,100,455 23.4%
 British Columbia 1,312,445 28.8%
 Alberta 756,335 19.0%
 Québec 563,150 7.1%
 Manitoba 178,650 14.4%
 Saskatchewan 99,125 9.3%
 Nova Scotia 42,495 4.7%
 New Brunswick 19,410 2.7%
 Newfoundland and Labrador 10,090 2.0%
 Prince Edward Island 6,485 4.6%
 Northwest Territories 3,125 7.6%
 Yukon 2,855 8.1%
 Nunavut 615 1.7%
 Canada 6,095,235 17.7%

Asian Canadian Demographics according to the 2016 census.[4]

Population of Various Asian Canadian Groups
Ethnic Origins Population
Chinese Canadians 1,769,195
Indian-Canadians 1,374,715
Filipino Canadians 851,410
Vietnamese Canadians 240,615
Lebanese Canadians 219,555
Pakistani Canadians 215,560
Iranian Canadians 210,405
Korean Canadians 198,210
Sri Lankan Canadians 152,595
Japanese Canadians 121,485
Afghan Canadians 83,995
Syrian Canadians 77,045
Iraqi Canadians 70,920
Turkish Canadians 63,995
Bangladeshi Canadians 45,940
Palestinian Canadians 44,820
Cambodian Canadians 38,495
Taiwanese Canadians 36,515
Israeli Canadians 28,735
Laotian Canadians 24,575
Indonesian Canadians 21,395
Malaysian Canadians 16,920
Assyrian Canadians 13,830
Tibetan Canadians 8,040
Singaporean Canadians 2,845

See also


  1. ^ "Classification of visible minority". Statistics Canada. June 15, 2009. Archived from the original on July 18, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  2. ^ Gee, Marcus (July 4, 2011). "South Asian immigrants are transforming Toronto". The Globe and Mail.
  3. ^ "Data Tables, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. 2018-02-14. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "Data Tables, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. 2018-02-14. Retrieved March 3, 2018.

External links

  • Asian Canadian Website
  • Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada
  • 2001 demographics from Statistics Canada
  • Information for South Asians and Indians in Canada
  • Asian Canadian Wiki
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