Canada – The People

The People

Statistics Canada on Canadian Demographics for 2015

Canada is among the top-10 countries with the largest foreign-born population

  • Among the countries of the world with the largest foreign-born populations, Canada is currently ranked eighth, with about 7.5 million people. The size of the foreign-born population in Canada closely follows that of the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and France.
  • The United States is in the first position, with a foreign-born population estimated at 45.8 million people, however, the population of the United States is approximately 330 million compared to a population in Canada of about 35 million. So the foreign born population in Canada is over 20% of our total population while that of the United States is over 13% of the total population.
  • The Russian Federation and Germany were ranked in the second and third position, in terms of the size of their foreign-born populations.
RankCountryForeign-born population
in millions
1United States45.8
2Russian Federation11.1
4Saudi Arabia9.1
5United Arab Emirates7.8
6United Kingdom7.8
Note(s): Data include the foreign-born population regardless of citizenship. Thus, in some cases, the data relate to foreign citizens, and not to the foreign-born population. In some cases, refugees are also included.
Source(s): United Nations. 2013. Trends in International Migrant Stock, The 2013 Revision and National Household Survey, 2011.

Linguistic diversity in Canada

  • More than 200 languages were reported in the 2011 Census of Population as a home language or mother tongue.
  • The number of persons who reported speaking Tagalog, a Philippine-based language, most often at home increased the most (+64%) between 2006 and 2011. Nearly 279,000 persons reported speaking this language at home, compared with 170,000 in 2006.
  • In 2011, 80% of the population who reported speaking an immigrant language (i.e., a language other than English, French or an Aboriginal language) most often at home lived in one of Canada’s six largest census metropolitan areas.