Immigration and Citizenship
This factsheet looks at immigration and citizenship information released by Statistics Canada as part of the 2006 Census.
Proportion of Foreign-born Highest in Ontario
- The 2006 Census enumerated 3,398,725 foreign-born individuals in Ontario, representing 28.3% of the total population, the highest proportion among the provinces. (British Columbia was second highest at 27.5%.) In 1971, foreign-born individuals accounted for 22.2% of Ontario’s population.
- Between 2001 and 2006, Ontario’s foreign-born population increased by 12.2%, nearly three times faster than the Canadian-born population in Ontario, which grew by 4.3% over the period.
- Ontario continued to be the province of choice for more than half (52.3%) of the 1.1 million newcomers who arrived in Canada during the 2001-2006 period.
- According to the Census, 580,740 immigrants came to Ontario between January 1, 2001 and May 16, 2006. These recent newcomers made up 17.1% of the foreign-born population, and 4.8% of total population.
Recent Immigrants Mainly from Asia
- Immigrants born in Asia made up the largest proportion of newcomers to Ontario between 2001 and 2006 at 64.6%, up from 61% between 1996 and 2001.
- Newcomers born in Europe made up the second-largest group at 14.6% of recent immigrants in 2006, down from 20% in 2001.
- An estimated 10.3% of recent immigrants were born in Central and South America and the Caribbean, up from 9.6% in 2001. Another 6.9% of recent newcomers to Ontario in 2006 were born in Africa, up from 6.3% in 2001.
India was Top Source Country for Newcomers
- India was the leading source country of newcomers to Ontario between 2001 and 2006. Fifteen per cent of recent immigrants came from India, followed by China (14%), Pakistan (7.5%), the Philippines (6.5%) and Sri Lanka (3.2%).
Toronto: Canadas Major Immigrant Gateway
- The census enumerated 2,320,160 foreign-born individuals in Toronto in 2006, the largest number of any metropolitan area in the country. Between 2001 and 2006, the foreign-born population grew by 14.1%, compared to 4.6% for the Census Metropolitan Area’s (CMA) Canadian-born population.
- The foreign-born population accounted for 45.7% of total population in the Toronto CMA in 2006, up from 43.7% in 2001, still the highest share among CMAs in Canada. Vancouver came second with 39.6%.
Nearly Eight of Every Ten New Immigrants to Ontario
Settled in the Toronto CMA
- Of the 580,740 foreign-born people who arrived in Ontario between 2001 and 2006, a growing share — an estimated 447,930, or 77.1% — chose to settle in the Toronto CMA. These recent immigrants made up 8.8% of Toronto's total population in 2006.
- The top two source countries for recent immigrants to Toronto were India and China. Combined, these two countries accounted for nearly one-third of all newcomers to the Toronto CMA.
- In 2006, India surpassed China as the number one source country of immigrants settling in Toronto. About 77,800 immigrants or 17.4% of all newcomers settling in the Toronto CMA were from India. An additional 67,000 newcomers, or 15% of the total, came from China.
High Share of Foreign-born in Municipalities
Surrounding the City of Toronto
- The City of Toronto (or Toronto CSD) was home to the largest number of foreign-born people in 2006 among Ontario municipalities. However, other municipalities surrounding the city have higher shares of foreign-born.
- In Markham, more than half (56.5%) of residents in 2006 were born outside Canada, the highest proportion in Ontario and the second highest in Canada after Richmond, BC (57.4%).
- The other Ontario municipalities with high shares of foreign-born were Mississauga (51.6%), Richmond Hill (51.5%), Toronto (50%) and Brampton (47.8%).
Contact Paul Lewis (416) 325-0821 / Victor Caballero (416) 325-0825.
Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch