Have you ever wondered how many people with Chinese background
(From China Mainland, Taiwan or Hong-Kong) live in Canada right now? Is it 2 million, 1 million or maybe 10?
According to Canadian census 2016 there were 1,769,195 people with Chinese ethnic origin, which is 5.1% of total Canadian population.
How many Chinese people come to Canada every year?
To answer that let’s take a look at the express entry report for 2017. Express Entry is a Canadian immigration program with open statistics. According to this data there were 7,466 invitation issues for people from China to come and settle in Canada in 2017, it is 9% of total number of invitations. In 2016 it was 2,741 people (8%), but in 2016 the total number of immigrants was much lower from all countries.
It worth to mention that The Express Entry is not the only program Canada has which allows to immigrate, so these are not total numbers of people who are coming, a big portion is family reunion and sponsorship.
The total number of citizens from the People’s Republic of China landed in Canada in recent years had a minimum of 19,512 in 2015 and the maximum of 34,116 in 2013.Source: Government of Canada.
In what provinces Chinese Canadians usually live?
Geographically and historically British Columbia was the place to immigrate from Asia, not only from China, but from Japan and Korea too. Today the majority of Chinese Canadians settle in Ontario.
According to 2006 Census there were 713,245 Chinese in Ontario and 464,800 in BC in 2006.
Changes in immigration from China to Canada and history
Chinese immigration to Canada started in a long time ago, in 1891 only 0.2% of Canadians had Chinese background and after that for almost 100 years (until 1981) this number didn’t grow much. After 1981 Chinese immigration started to growth, but in recent years it remains quite stable. Note that Statistics Canada considers Taiwanese Canadians as a separate group in all researches.
You can find a brief chronology of Chinese Canadian history here:
The number of immigrants from China grew 63.9% from 332,825 in 2001 to 545,535 in 2011, making Chinese the second largest foreign-born group in Canada.https://canadaimmigrants.com/chinese-immigrants-to-canada/
How rich are Chinese Canadians?
Another interesting question to cover in this article is how rich are Chinese Canadians? globalnews.ca reported that Canada now #2 immigration destination for rich Chinese after The U.S. Of course not all people coming from China to Canada are very rich, but this report states that Vancouver became #5 city where wealthy people from China want to but property or immigrate (Toronto took 8th place).
It is quite expensive to immigrate in general for a person from any country, cost of living in Canada is quite high compared to many countries, this means that many immigrants in Canada are not poor, not only Chinese. You have to have enough money to live in Canada for a year, this amount is somewhere around 15k, not to mention that cost of education for international students are much higher, compared to Canadians and people with PR (Permanent Residents status).
Most of the people who come to Canada are not poor, it is just China has more people in general, so you see more rich Chinese people as a result.
Why people from China choose Canada?
People from many countries choose Canada as their immigration destination, China is not alone here. According to migrationpolicy.org Canada was #8 immigration destination in 2017.
Canada takes 25th place in the world by cost of living ranking (numbeo.com data), yet Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea actually have higher cost of living, but they are much more populated than Canada. Canada provides good education, its ecological situation is one of the best, medicine is very good as well, so no wonder why people choose Canada. Compared to the U.S. Canada has transparent immigration process and multicultural society which allows people to integrate smoothly.
People on websites like Quora giving many reasons which explain historical Chinese immigration to Canada, for example:
- Government of Canada requests it. Canada is the country that has 2nd largest land area in the world. Yet, it only has the population of 35 million. Canada needs more people;
- In the early 1860s, there is a gold rush in San Francisco of US and a lot of Chinese from Guangdong China went for it. Yet in 1882, San Francisco launched an act that expels the China’s immigrants since the population was growing larger and larger. Then it’s said to be found out that there were new gold mine appeared in Australia and Canada. Then China’s immigrants immigrate to Canada;
- In the late 1990s, some Hong Kong people feared of the handover of Hong Kong from UK to China, so they immigrated to Canada. By the mean time, some Cantonese from Guangdong also immigrated to Canada since the economy of Guangdong is growing better;
- Captives. Not all the immigrants goes to Canada for their own wish, some are actually passive. During the 1850s, US was trying to build the pacific rail connecting the east and the west of the country, but the locals did not want to do that kind of hard job. So the businessman and the government get the contract workers from Guangdong;
Is immigration from China good or bad for Canada?
For Canadian economy Chinese immigration is not only good, it is great. vancouversun.com points out that:
Most Chinese immigrants are middle-class or wealthy, able to afford big Metro Vancouver houses and be treated as “VIPs” by jewellers and automobile sales staff.
They spend a lot of money in Canada, they bring investments and create jobs. Foreign direct investments (FDI) by China were 1.9% of total investments (8-th place), but many investments by Chinese are not considered to be foreign because they became Canadians quite fast and then spend their saving as Canadians.
It is well known that property market has a huge influence from Chinese money, some people find it troubling due to raising prices, some people even call it a bubble, but after all the fact that many people from China want to own a property in Canada is definitely a good thing. Prices are rising only because private companies can’t build new houses and apartments fast enough to satisfy the demand.
Canadian gambling industry is heavily influenced by Chinese as well as many other industries.
If Canada failed to attract Chinese immigrants and investors those money would just go somewhere else, probably to The U.S. or Australia.
Actually there are already signs that point out a decline of rich Chinese immigrants, betterdwelling.com published an interesting article in 2017 with the following facts:
The top three inflows of wealthy immigrants were the same as last year – Australia, the US, and Canada. Australia saw 10,000 wealthy families immigrate, making it the top single destination. In second was the US, with 9,000 new wealthy families. In third was Canada, with 5,000 wealthy new immigrants. Looking at the chart below, we can see that these are substantial declines compared to the previous year, especially in Canada.
Immigration in general is a huge positive factor for economic growth, especially if those immigrants are educated and rich.
The number of Chinese restaurants and stores in Canada is growing, this creates jobs and growth for Canadians economy. Those restaurants are popular not only among Chinese people, but among all other ethnic groups.
Wikipedia has a list of notable Chinese Canadians which proves that people from China contribute a lot to the Canadian society not only by bringing money, but in many other ways.
Will there be more people from China coming to Canada in future?
It is hard to say. In 2017 one of huffingtonpost.ca employees blogged that Canada should get ready for more people coming from China, but statistics is not that certain. In the last 10 years number of Chinese immigrants in Canada was quite stable. People from China will keep coming, but today people from India come in a much bigger numbers.
If Chinese economy continue its growth and borders will be open, we can expect stable Chinese immigration in future. We may see more elderly people coming from China in future due to “One Child Policy”, but Canada will remain a very pleasant destination for rich and middle-class Chinese.
There going to be more Chinese Canadians, but 2nd and 3rd generation people, those who were born and raised in Canada, very often rightly consider themselves Canadians. Some of them don’t even speak Mandarin or Cantonese. Chinese and all other Asians integrating in western society quite well. Not as good as Europeans (due to language and culture differences), but much better than people from other parts of the world.
That is it for today. This was an original research by MapleDude.Ca website with custom drawings. Later we may cover Korean, Japanese and other ethnic groups of immigrants as well.