Canada 150 – Blast from the Past

June 15, 2017 | Read Time: 2 Min. | Afterschool

Six years ago, Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement published this on their website:

In 2017 – just six years from now – Canadians will come together to celebrate their country’s 150th anniversary. One of the most striking developments on which we will reflect is the extraordinary growth in our country’s ethno-cultural diversity. From a nation that even just 50 years ago was primarily composed of people who traced their ancestry to Europe (especially the United Kingdom and France) and of First Nations peoples, Canada has transformed into arguably the planet’s most dynamic multicultural mosaic.

For over a century, the proportion of Canada’s population born outside the country has been significantly higher than in most other industrialized countries, including the United States. Taking the example of people who identify as members of a “visible minority” (a non-Aboriginal person who is non-Caucasian or non-white), Statistics Canada reports that by 2017 there will have been a four-fold increase since 1981 in the number of such individuals. In 1981, Canada’s visible minority population stood at just 1.1 million (4.7%); by 1996, it had crept up to 3.2 million (10%). By 2017, however, the number is expected to soar to approximately 7.1 million (20%), and immigration will be the primary driver of this rapid expansion.

Today, there are more than 17 million immigrants who have come to Canada since Confederation in 1867.