Asian Canadians

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Asian Canadians
Total population
14.6% 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 · Asian Australians · Asian New Zealanders · 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 14.6% 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. 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).[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. Similarly in the late 1890s, Indian immigrants first arrived in Canada and settled in Vancouver. Most hailed from Punjab Province.[2]

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 In 1947, the act was repealed.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.[3]

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.[4]

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 5,137,520 14.6%

Asian Canadian Demographics according to the 2016 census.[5]

Population of Various Asian Canadian Groups
Ethnic Origins Population
Chinese Canadian 1,769,195
Indian-Canadians 1,374,715
Filipino Canadian 851,410
Vietnamese Canadian 240,615
Pakistani Canadian 215,560
Korean Canadian 198,210
Sri Lankan Canadians 152,595
Japanese Canadians 121,485
Bangladeshi Canadian 45,940
Cambodian Canadian 38,495
Taiwanese Canadian 36,515 (94,000[6]–173,000[7])
Laotian Canadian 24,575
Indonesian Canadians 21,395
Thai Canadian 19,010
Malaysian Canadians 16,920
Tibetan Canadians 8,040
Singaporean Canadians 2,845

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Classification of visible minority". Statistics Canada. June 15, 2009. Archived from the original on July 18, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  2. ^ Walton-Roberts and Hiebert, Immigration, Entrepreneurship, and the Family Archived 2014-10-18 at WebCite, p. 124.
  3. ^ Gee, Marcus (July 4, 2011). "South Asian immigrants are transforming Toronto". The Globe and Mail.
  4. ^ "Data Tables, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. 2018-02-14. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  5. ^ "Data Tables, 2016 Census". Statistics Canada. 2018-02-14. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  6. ^ "Overseas Chinese Affairs Council - Taiwan (ROC)".
  7. ^ Overseas Chinese Affairs Council - Taiwan (ROC) (PDF), OCA Council

External links[edit]