Asian Canadians

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Asian Canadians
Total population

(17% of the Canadian population)

2016 National Household Survey
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  · Other
Related ethnic groups
Asian Americans  · British Asian  · British East Asian  · Asian Australians  · Asian New Zealanders  · Asian French  · Asian people

Asian Canadians refers to Canadians who can trace their ancestry back to the continent of Asia or Asian people. Canadians of Asian ancestry comprise the largest and fastest growing visible minority group in Canada, with roughly 17% 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. In Canada, the term 'Asian' is pan-continental unlike its usage in the US and Australia. See Asian Americans.

Asian Canadians considered visible minorities may be classified as Taiwanese Canadians; Chinese Canadians; Filipino Canadians; South Asian Canadians (e.g, Bangladeshi Canadians, Indian Canadians, Pakistani Canadians); Southeast Asian (e.g. Vietnamese Canadians); Arab Canadians (e.g. Kuwaiti Canadians); West Asian (e.g. Afghan Canadians, Jewish Canadians, Israeli Canadians, Iranian Canadians), Korean Canadians; or Japanese Canadians.[1]


Canada has a long history of East Asian immigration. 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 In 1947, the act was repealed.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 and the Korean War, a large wave of Vietnamese and Korean 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 2011, South Asians alone make up over 15 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.


Based on the 2016[3] census, there are 4,659,395 Asian Canadians with the following ethnic identities.

East Asian in origin: 2,763,870

South Asian origins: 1,963,330

Chinese origins: 1,769,195

Filipino origins: 780,125

Arab origins: 523,235

Southeast Asian origins: 312,075

West Asian origins: 206,840

Jewish origins: 309,650

Israeli origins: 15,015

Turkish origins: 55,435

Korean origins: 188,710

Japanese origins: 92,920

The Asian Canadian population by province or territory according to the 2011 Census.[4]

Province or territory Asian origins %
 Ontario 2,604,595 20.6%
 British Columbia 1,122,445 26.0%
 Alberta 551,710 15.5%
 Québec 488,905 6.3%
 Manitoba 126,600 10.8%
 Saskatchewan 55,095 5.5%
 Nova Scotia 31,875 3.5%
 New Brunswick 14,535 2.0%
 Newfoundland and Labrador 6,310 1.2%
 Prince Edward Island 4,360 3.2%
 Yukon 2,205 6.7%
 Northwest Territories 2,165 5.3%
 Nunavut 425 1.3%
 Canada 5,011,225 15.3%

Asian Canadian Demographics according to recent estimates.

Population of Various Asian Canadian Groups
Ethnic Origins Population
Chinese Canadians 1,769,195
Indo-Canadians 1,355,653
Filipino Canadians 662,600
Jewish Canadians 309,650
Lebanese Canadians 250,000
Vietnamese Canadians 220,425
Korean Canadians 168,890
Iranian Canadians 163,290
Pakistani Canadians 155,310
Sri Lankan Canadians 139,415
Japanese Canadians 109,740
Syrian Canadians 100,000
Afghan Canadians 62,815
Turkish Canadians 55,430
Iraqi Canadians 49,680
Cambodian Canadians 34,340
Bangladeshi Canadians 34,205
Palestinian Canadians 31,245
Taiwanese Canadians 30,330
Laotian Canadians 22,090
Israeli Canadians 15,000
Indonesian Canadians 14,320
Malaysian Canadians 12,165
Assyrian Canadians 10,810
Romani Canadian 5,255
Singaporean Canadians 1,390

See also


  1. ^ "Classification of visible minority". Statistics Canada. 15 June 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Gee, Marcus (July 4, 2011). "South Asian immigrants are transforming Toronto". The Globe and Mail. 
  3. ^ "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity Highlight Tables - Ethnic Origin, both sexes, age (total), Canada, 2016 Census – 25% Sample data". Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  4. ^ "NHS Profile, Canada, 2011". Statistics Canada. 2015-11-27. Retrieved June 24, 2016. 

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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