Asian Canadians

Asian Canadians
Total population

(Asian Canadians
4,659,395 (14.2% of the Canadian population)

2011 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  · 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 peoples. Canadians of Asian ancestry comprise the largest visible minority group in Canada, at 15% of the Canadian population, and is the fastest growing. 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 in official data such as the national census, in contrast to its usage in other English-speaking countries such as Australia and the US.'

Asian Canadians considered visible minorities may be classified as Chinese Canadians; Filipino Canadians; South Asian Canadians (e.g, Bangladeshi Canadians); Southeast Asian (e.g. Vietnamese Canadians); Arab Canadians (e.g. Kuwaiti Canadians; West Asian (e.g. Afghan 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 In 1947, the act was repealed.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 2011 census,[3] there are 4,659,395 Asian Canadians with the following ethnic identities.

South Asian origins: 1,567,400

Chinese origins: 1,324,750

Filipino origins: 619,310

Arab origins: 380,620

Southeast Asian origins: 312,075

West Asian origins: 206,840

Korean origins: 161,130

Japanese origins: 87,270

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

Province or territory Asian origins %
 Ontario 2,604,595 20.6%
 British Columbia 1,122,445 26.0%
 Alberta 551,710 15.5%
 Quebec 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%

Top 20 of Asian Canadian Demographics according to the 2011 Census and recent estimates.

Population of Various Asian Canadian Groups
Ethnic OriginsPopulation
Chinese Canadians1,487,580
Filipino Canadians662,600
Pakistani Canadians305,310
Lebanese Canadians250,000
Vietnamese Canadians220,425
Korean Canadians168,890
Iranian Canadians163,290
Sri Lankan Canadians139,415
Japanese Canadians109,740
Syrian Canadians100,000
Afghan Canadians62,815
Turkish Canadians55,430
Iraqi Canadians49,680
Cambodian Canadians34,340
Bangladeshi Canadians34,205
Palestinian Canadians31,245
Taiwanese Canadians30,330
Laotian Canadians22,090
Israeli Canadians15,000
Indonesian Canadians14,320
Malaysian Canadians12,165
Singaporean Canadians1,390

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. "NHS Profile, Canada, 2011". Statistics Canada. 2015-11-27. Retrieved June 24, 2016.

External links

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