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The population of foreign-born people in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver increased five times faster than its Canadian-born population between 2001 and 2006, according to the census.
The census counted 831,300 foreign-born people in the Vancouver CMA, up about 92,700 from 2001. Between the two censuses, the foreign-born population in Vancouver increased by 12.6%, compared with the growth rate of 2.3% in the Canadian-born population.
Foreign-born people accounted for 39.6% of the Vancouver metropolitan area's total population of 2,098,000. (Vancouver is the third-largest CMA in Canada. It consists of municipalities such as the City of Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Richmond, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Port Moody, New Westminster, Delta and Surrey.)
In 2001, Vancouver ranked third in its proportion of foreign-born among major Canadian, American and Australian cities.
In 2006, its proportion was second only to Toronto, where the foreign-born represented 45.7% of the population. Vancouver had surpassed that of Miami (36.5%), Los Angeles (34.7%), Sydney (31.7%) and Melbourne (28.9%).
The Vancouver metropolitan area has a long history of immigration. Its foreign-born population has more than doubled in just a quarter-century since 1981.
The number of recent immigrants who chose to settle in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver has declined for two consecutive censuses.
Between 2001 and 2006, an estimated 151,700 newcomers, or 13.7% of all new arrivals in Canada, chose to live in the Vancouver metropolitan area.
This was a decrease from the 169,600 individuals who arrived in Vancouver between 1996 and 2001, and well below the 189,700 who arrived during the early part of the 1990s.
Vancouver was the only metropolitan area of the three largest that experienced a decline in new arrivals during the past five years. Both Toronto and Montréal recorded increases.
The main factor in the back-to-back intercensal decline was a slowdown in immigration arriving in Vancouver from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which has been the source of many newcomers in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Most of the 151,700 immigrants who arrived in Vancouver during the past five years were born in Asia and the Middle East. In fact, the five leading source countries were in this world region.
Just over one-quarter of newcomers (26.2%) came from the People's Republic of China. In fact, of all new arrivals in Canada who were born in the People's Republic of China, Vancouver received the second-largest share (25.7%) after Toronto (41.2%).
The other leading source country of Vancouver's recent arrivals was India, which accounted for 12.4% of newcomers. Vancouver was home to 14.5% of all recent immigrants in Canada who were born in India.
Another 10.9% of Vancouverites who came to Canada in the last five years were born in the Philippines, 7.7% born in South Korea and 4.6% born in Taiwan.
A higher proportion of recent arrivals (57.2%) than the Canadian-born (42%) in the metropolitan area of Vancouver were in their prime working years, aged 25 to 54. Recent immigrants in this age group made up 8.9% of Vancouver's prime working-age population.
In addition, about 27,600 children aged 5 to 16 who were in Vancouver's school system during the past five years were new to Canada. These newcomers represented 9.3% of Vancouver's school-aged population.
As a whole, school-aged children born outside Canada accounted for 18.1% of Vancouver's school-aged population. Most of them (53.7%) reported often speaking a language other than English or French at home.
Three-quarters of the Vancouver metropolitan area's newly arrived immigrants (74.7%) chose to live in one of the region's four largest municipalities: the City of Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby or Richmond. These four municipalities combined also accounted for 73.5% of immigrants who had lived in the census metropolitan area (CMA) longer than five years.
In comparison, 56.8% of the Canadian-born population in the Vancouver CMA resided in these four communities.
Other municipalities that took in at least 2% of immigrants who arrived in the past five years were the City of Coquitlam (5.9%), New Westminister (2.8%), North Vancouver DM (2.7%), Delta DM (2.4%) and the City of North Vancouver (2.3%).
Being the biggest municipality in the metropolitan area of Vancouver, the City of Vancouver had the biggest population of both longer-term and recently arrived foreign-born people of all the municipalities in the metropolitan area.
The census enumerated a total of 260,800 foreign-born people in the City of Vancouver in 2006, almost one-third of the total foreign-born population residing in the metropolitan area. The city was also the destination of 28.7% of newcomers who arrived between 2001 and 2006.
In contrast, only around one-quarter (23.9%) of the Canadian-born in the CMA lived in the City of Vancouver.
The foreign-born people accounted for nearly one-half (45.6%) of the city's total population of 571,600. About 7.6% of this population was made up of newcomers to Canada.
Between 2001 and 2006, the City of Vancouver's foreign-born population grew by 5.3%. However, this growth rate was slower than those of the three other large cities: Richmond (+12.9%), Burnaby (+12.5%) and Surrey (+30.9%).
People born in the People's Republic of China made up the largest proportion (36.1%) of newcomers to the City of Vancouver. The other leading source countries of newcomers in the city were the Philippines, which accounted for 12.2% of newcomers, followed by India (4.8%), Taiwan (4.2%) and South Korea (4%).
Foreign-born people outnumbered the Canadian-born in Richmond, according to the 2006 Census.
Of the 173,600 residents in Richmond, more than one-half (57.4%) were born outside Canada. In fact, Richmond had the highest proportion of foreign-born of all Canada's municipalities.
Between 2001 and 2006, the foreign-born population in Richmond grew by 12.9%, whereas the Canadian-born population decreased by 2.3%.
About 1 in 10 (10.8%) of Richmond's population were newcomers who had arrived in Canada within the last five years. Among these 18,800 recent immigrants, fully one-half were born in the People's Republic of China.
In fact, immigrants from the People's Republic of China, whether they had lived in Canada for some time or had arrived recently, made up the largest group of the foreign-born population in the city.
Newcomers born in the Philippines accounted for 14.2% of people who arrived in Canada within the last five years. Another 7.4% were new immigrants from Taiwan, 4.7% from the Hong Kong Special Administration Area and 4.3% from India.
Of all school-aged children between 5 and 16 years old in Richmond, 15.4% were recent immigrants who came to Canada in the last five years. The majority (66.3%) of these school-aged newcomers reported speaking a language other than English or French at home.
As the People's Republic of China was the leading source country of immigrants in Richmond, Chinese dialects such as Mandarin and Cantonese were the languages spoken most often at home by the largest share of recent immigrants living in Richmond.
The immigration trend in the Burnaby was similar to that of ts neighbour, Richmond. The 2006 Census counted 102,000 foreign-born in Burnaby, who accounted for almost one-half (50.8%) of its population of 200,900.
As a result, Burnaby had the second-largest proportion of foreign-born in the census metropolitan area of Vancouver, after only Richmond.
Like Richmond, Burnaby experienced a growth of 12.5% in its foreign-born population and a slight drop of 2.3% in its Canadian-born population. As well, about 1 in 10 (10.8%) of Burnaby's population were newcomers who had arrived in Canada between 2001 and 2006.
Burnaby attracted 14.4% of recent immigrants in the Vancouver metropolitan area, the third-largest share after the City of Vancouver (28.7%) and Surrey (19.3%), and slightly more than Richmond.
The People's Republic of China was the leading source country of Burnaby's newest immigrants. It was followed by South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and India. Collectively, recent immigrants from these countries made up 64.4% of all newcomers to Burnaby.
Surrey had the second-highest number of foreign-born people of all the municipalities in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Vancouver, after only the City of Vancouver.
The census enumerated 150,200 foreign-born people in Surrey, nearly 4 out of every 10 (38.3%) of Surrey's total population of 392,500.
The proportion of the foreign-born people in Surrey was the lowest of the four largest municipalities in the Vancouver CMA. However, Surrey recorded the highest growth rate of the foreign-born population between 2001 and 2006, at 30.9%.
This rate was due to the higher number of newcomers to the city. In 2006, Surrey attracted 19.3% of all new recent immigrants to metropolitan Vancouver during the past five years. During the previous five years, Surrey had attracted only 14.1% of all new arrivals.
In fact, Surrey was the only municipality among the largest four that experienced an increase of share of newcomers from 2001. The shares of newcomers for the City of Vancouver, Richmond and Burnaby all declined.
Overall, newcomers during the past five years made up 7.4% of Surrey's total population. By far, India was the top source country, accounting for over 4 in 10 (41.9%) of all foreign-born newcomers to the city.
The other source countries were the Philippines, South Korea, the People's Republic of China, Pakistan and Fiji. In total, newcomers from these five countries accounted for another third (33.9%) of all newcomers to Surrey.
Vancouver CMA. Recent immigrant population in 1981 to 2006 censuses by 2006 Census Tracts (CTs)
Vancouver CMA. Recent immigrants as a percentage of total population by 2006 Census Tracts (CTs)