Canada has the highest proportion of immigrants since 1931, just before the Great Depression hit, according to a Statistics Canada report released Tuesday on the 2001 census.
Some two million new immigrants made their home in Canada in the past 10 years. The report also says Canada had four times as many visible minorities in the 1990s as in the 1980s.
- 18.4 per cent of Canada's population (5.4 million) were born outside Canada;
- 9.4 per cent of immigrants who came to Canada in the 1990s can't speak or understand French or English;
- 73 per cent of immigrants who came to Canada in the 1990s live in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, with only only six per cent choosing to live in areas outside of major urban centres;
- Of 1.8 million immigrants who arrived between 1991-2001, 58 per cent were from Asia, 20 per cent from Europe, 11 per cent from the Caribbean, Central and South America, eight per cent from Africa and three per cent from the United States;
- Chinese was the largest visible minority group, then South Asian (3.0 per cent), black (2.2 per cent), Filipino (1.0) and Arab-West Asian (1.0);
- Canadians reported more than 200 different ethnic origins in the 2001 census.