Majority of Metro Vancouver residents now identify as a visible minority, census data shows

A majority of Metro Vancouver residents now identify as a visible minority, according to terminology used by Statistics Canada in the 2021 census.

New census data released Wednesday shows 54% of area residents identified as a visible minority, up from 49% in 2016.

This increase was mainly due to the 154,820 new immigrants who settled in Metro Vancouver between 2016 and 2021, most of them from India (30,545) and China (28,970).

According to Statistics Canada, the largest non-white ethnic groups in Metro Vancouver are Chinese (accounting for 19.6% of the population), South Asians (14.2%) and Filipinos (5.5%). ).

« I just think it shows how our community is changing, » said Andy Yan, director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program.

« The old ways of seeing Metro Vancouver – not just Vancouver and Richmond, but places like Surrey and Langley – are the ones that need to change over time, and that’s just a marker. »

The municipality with the highest proportion of people identifying as a visible minority was Richmond at 80.3%, followed by Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam and Vancouver at 54.5%.

At the same time, demographic differences between Metro Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia have continued to widen — about 75% of recent immigrants to the province have gone to Metro Vancouver, and the region has continued to grow. have a much larger share of what Statistics Canada calls visible minorities than other major metropolitan areas in the province.

Least religious province

The data came from the sixth of seven Statistics Canada releases on the 2021 census and focused on the « portrait of citizenship and immigration », mobility and migration, and the « ethno-cultural and religious composition of the population ». .

When it comes to religion, 52% of BC residents said they follow none, the highest number of any province.

The final version of the data will come on November 30, containing information on education, careers and modes of commuting to work.

Yan said that with most of the census data now out, it would be interesting to see the analysis in the coming months.

« It’s a way in which we see the implications for social and economic inclusion, » he said.

« The census really provides a measure to start the conversation, instead of ending it. »


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