Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions, 2011 to 2036

Statistics Canada

Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions, 2011 to 2036

This following report has been produced by the Demosim team, prepared by Jean-Dominique Morency, Éric Caron Malenfant and Samuel MacIsaac for Stastics Canada.

Here are the direct highlights from the report:


Immigrant and second-generation populations

  • Based on the projection scenarios used, immigrants would represent between 24.5% and 30.0% of Canada’s population in 2036, compared with 20.7% in 2011. These would be the highest proportions since 1871.
  • In 2036, between 55.7% and 57.9% of Canada’s immigrant population could have been born in Asia, up from 44.8% estimated in 2011, while between 15.4% and 17.8% could have been born in Europe, down from 31.6% in 2011.
  • The proportion of the second-generation population, i.e., non‑immigrants with at least one parent born abroad, within the total Canadian population would also increase. In 2036, nearly one in five people would be of second generation, compared with 17.5% in 2011.
  • Together, immigrants and second-generation individuals could represent nearly one person in two (between 44.2% and 49.7%) in 2036, up from 2011 (38.2%).


  • According to all scenarios used for these projections, the population whose mother tongue is neither English nor French would be up and could account for between 26.1% and 30.6% of Canada’s population in 2036, versus 20.0% in 2011.
  • As in 2011, immigrants would make up the majority—close to 70% in all scenarios—of the population whose mother tongue is neither English nor French. However, close to 40% of these other-mother-tongue immigrants would have adopted English or French as the language spoken most often at home, either alone or with other languages.

Visible minority status

  • According to the results of these projections, in 2036, among the working-age population (15 to 64 years), of special interest for the application of the Employment Equity Act, between 34.7% and 39.9% could belong to a visible minority group, compared with 19.6% in 2011.
  • In all the projection scenarios, South Asian would still be the main visible minority group in 2036, followed by the Chinese. However, the most rapidly growing groups would be the Arab, Filipino and West Asian groups, given that they represent a higher proportion in the immigrant population than in the population as a whole.


  • The proportion of people who report having no religion in the total population would continue to increase, and could represent between 28.2% and 34.6% in 2036 (compared with 24.0% in 2011). This proportion would be similar to Catholics (between 29.2% and 32.8% in 2036, down from 2011 [38.8%]). In 2036, Catholicism would remain the religion with the largest number of followers.
  • The number of people affiliated with non-Christian religions could almost double by 2036 and could represent between 13% and 16% of Canada’s population, compared with 9% in 2011. The Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths, which are over-represented among immigrants compared to their demographic weight in the population as a whole, would see the number of their followers grow more quickly, even if it would continue to represent a modest share of the total Canadian population.

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