Africa Surpasses Europe As Canada’s Second Largest Source Of Immigrants


For the First Time, More Africans Immigrated to Canada than Europeans—Asia Remains the Primary Source of Immigrants

For the first time in history, Canada accepted more immigrants from Africa (13.4 percent) than it did Europe (11.6 percent).  This is according to recently released data from Statistics Canada.  Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Cameroon were the top five countries of birth for recent African immigrants.

Although some readers may find this surprising, it’s important to remember that this is part of a decades-long trend.  The proportion of immigrants from Europe has been falling steadily since 1971, where Europeans made up 61.6 percent of all immigrants, down to 16.1 percent in 2006, and now 11.6 percent in 2016.

Likewise, the proportion of African immigrants has increased by a multiple of four since 1971.  It was only a matter of time before the switch occurred.

But perhaps more interesting than the demographic shift is the religious shift.  The savvy reader will note that of the top five African countries of origin, only Cameroon is a majority Christian nation—the Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco are overwhelmingly Muslim, while Nigeria has a roughly even split.  This is bound to have downstream assimilation issues of the sort we’re currently seeing in Europe.

Finally, it must be noted that the numbers of immigrants from Africa and Europe are actually quite small—by far the largest source of immigrants to Canada is Asia (including the Middle East).  Asian countries accounted for 7 of the top 10 countries of birth of recent immigrants in 2016: the Philippines, India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and South Korea.canada foreign born population graph, stats canada

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