Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Regina—A Comparative Profile Based on the 2001 Census

Part A: Immigrants and Recent Immigrants

14,000 immigrants in the Regina Census Metropolitan Area

According to the 2001 Census, there were 14,000 immigrants living in the Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) of Regina (that is, the Regina Census Metropolitan Area or Regina for short) in 2001. The immigrant population in Regina has decreased over the 15 years ending in 2001, while the Canadian-born population within the CMA has grown. Over the period 1986 to 2001, the number of immigrants living in Regina decreased by almost 3,500 or 20%. In comparison, Regina’s Canadian-born population increased by 8,100 or 5%.

Table A-1: Immigrants, Canadian-born and total population, Regina Census Metropolitan Area, Saskatchewan, and Canada, 1986, 1996 and 2001
  Census of Population
  1986 1996 2001
Regina
Immigrants 17,510 15,230 14,020
Canadian-born 167,010 175,470 175,140
Population 184,520 191,490 190,020
Saskatchewan
Immigrants 71,990 52,300 47,830
Canadian-born 924,710 921,690 912,220
Population 996,700 976,620 963,150
Canada
Immigrants 3,908,150 4,971,060 5,448,490
Canadian-born 21,113,860 23,390,330 23,991,910
Population 25,022,010 28,528,130 29,639,040
  Change
  1986-1996 1996-2001 1986-2001
Regina
Immigrants -2,280 -13% -1,210 -8% -3,490 -20%
Canadian-born 8,460 5% -330 0% 8,130 5%
Population 6,970 4% -1,470 -1% 5,500 3%
Saskatchewan
Immigrants -19,690 -27% -4,470 -9% -24,160 -34%
Canadian-born -3,020 0% -9,470 -1% -12,490 -1%
Population -20,080 -2% -13,470 -1% -33,550 -3%
Canada
Immigrants 1,062,910 27% 477,430 10% 1,540,340 39%
Canadian-born 2,276,470 11% 601,580 3% 2,878,050 14%
Population 3,506,120 14% 1,110,910 4% 4,617,030 18%

Note: In Table A-1, population totals for 1996 and 2001 include non-permanent residents as well as immigrants and the Canadian-born. Non-permanent residents are not included in Table A-1 for 1986 nor are they included in any population figures elsewhere in this report.

Regina's immigrant population has decreased at about the same pace as the immigrant population in Saskatchewan. Between the 1996 Census and the 2001 Census, the number of immigrants in the Regina CMA decreased by 1,200, or 8%, after a decline of 2,300 or 13% between the 1986 Census and the 1996 Census. In comparison, the total number of immigrants living in Saskatchewan decreased by 4,500 or 9% between the 1996 and 2001 Censuses, after falling by nearly 20,000 or 27% in the previous ten years. Canada’s immigrant population increased by 477,400 or 10% from1996 to 2001, after growing by more than one million in the ten previous years.

In 2001, Regina was home to 0.3% of Canada’s five million immigrants, down from 0.5% in 1986 and to 0.7% of the country’s Canadian-born population, compared to 0.8% in 1986. The city was the place of residence of 0.6% of Canada’s population, down from 0.7% in 1986. During this period, Regina’s share of the immigrant population of Saskatchewan has increased to 29% in 2001 compared to 24% in 1986. The city’s share of Saskatchewan’s Canadian-born population increased from 18% in 1986 to 19% in 2001. Regina’s share of the total population of Saskatchewan has increased from 18% in 1986 to 20% in 2001.

Immigrant share of the population declining

The immigrant share of Regina's population has declined between 1986 and 2001. Immigrants represented 9% of Regina's population in 1986, 8% in 1996 and 7% in 2001. Saskatchewan's immigrant population has remained at 5% since 1996, a decrease from 7% in 1986. The proportion of immigrants in the population of both Regina and Saskatchewan is well below that of Canada which has increased from 16% to 18% over this same period.

Figure A-1: Immigrants as a percentage of the population, Regina Census Metropolitan Area, Saskatchewan, and Canada, 1986, 1996 and 2001

Figure A-1

Just over one-third of immigrants landed after 1985

Slightly more than one-third of Regina’s immigrant population—4,950 people—landed in Canada in the 15 years before the 2001 Census compared to 32% of Saskatchewan’s immigrants and 46% of Canada’s immigrant population. Thirteen percent of Regina’s immigrants landed in Canada in the five years between 1996 and 2001, compared to 14% of Saskatchewan’s immigrant population and 18% of immigrants living in Canada.

Table A-2: Immigrants by period of immigration, Regina Census Metropolitan Area, Saskatchewan and Canada, 2001
Period of immigration Regina Saskatchewan Canada
 Before 1961 3,690 26% 14,330 30% 894,470 16%
 1961-1970 1,990 14% 6,730 14% 745,570 14%
 1971-1980 2,460 18% 7,840 16% 936,280 17%
 1981-1985 940 7% 3,590 7% 380,330 7%
Earlier immigrants 9,070 65% 32,480 68% 2,956,630 54%
 1986-1990 1,690 12% 3,990 8% 661,180 12%
 1991-1995 1,480 11% 4,750 10% 867,360 16%
 1996-2001 1,790 13% 6,620 14% 963,320 18%
Recent immigrants 4,950 35% 15,350 32% 2,491,850 46%
Total 14,020 100% 47,830 100% 5,448,490 100%

A stable share of Saskatchewan’s immigrant population

In 2001, 0.3% of Canada’s 5.4 million immigrants were living in Regina. Regina’s share of Canada’s immigrants is constant across all periods of immigration. Very recent immigrants to Canada were as likely to be living in Regina as earlier immigrants.

Figure A-2: Immigrants residing in Regina Census Metropolitan Area as a percentage of Canada’s and Saskatchewan’s immigrant population, by period of immigration, 2001

Figure A-2

Almost 30% of Saskatchewan's immigrants were living in Regina in 2001. Regina’s share of Saskatchewan’s immigrants is fairly stable across all periods of immigration with the exception of the late 1980s. Forty-two percent of Saskatchewan's immigrants who landed between 1986 and 1990 were living in Regina in 2001 compared to 26% to 31% for all other periods of immigration.

4,950 recent immigrants—a small share of the population

In 2001, there were 4,950 recent immigrants (defined as those who landed in Canada after 1985) living in Regina, representing 3% of the population. Regina’s share of recent immigrants is about the same as the proportion in the population of Saskatchewan (2%) but smaller than the proportion of recent immigrants in the national population (8%).

Table A-3: Immigrants as a percentage of the population, Regina Census Metropolitan Area, Saskatchewan and Canada, 2001
Period of immigration Regina Saskatchewan Canada
 1986-1990 1,690 0.9% 3,990 0.4% 661,180 2.2%
 1991-1995 1,480 0.8% 4,750 0.5% 867,360 2.9%
 1996-2001 1,790 0.9% 6,620 0.7% 963,320 3.3%
Immigrated 1986-2001 4,950 2.6% 15,350 1.6% 2,491,850 8.5%
Immigrated before 1986 9,070 4.8% 32,480 3.4% 2,956,640 10.0%
All immigrants 14,020 7.4% 47,830 5.0% 5,448,490 18.5%

In Regina, very recent immigrants—those who came to Canada during the 1996 to 2001 period—numbered 1,800, representing 1% of the population of Regina. In Canada as a whole, very recent immigrants numbered close to one million, representing 3% of the population.

Four out of five recent immigrants have become Canadian citizens

By 2001, a large majority of Regina’s immigrants who landed in Canada during the 1986 to 1995 period—82%—had become Canadian citizens. Immigrants from most countries who landed between 1986 and 1995 are becoming Canadians in high proportions, from 70% to close to 100%. More than 90% of Regina’s immigrants from Poland and Viet Nam who landed during the 1986 to 1995 period had obtained Canadian citizenship by 2001. Between 70% and 90% of immigrants from the Philippines, China, El Salvador, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Hong Kong who landed during this period had done the same. (See Table B-1 for the top ten countries of birth.)

 

Table A-4: Acquisition of Canadian citizenship by country of birth, Regina Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
More than 90 percent of Regina's immigrants who landed in Canada during 1986-1995 and were born in these countries have become Canadian citizens: Less than 70 percent of Regina's immigrants who landed in Canada during 1986-1995 and were born in these countries have become Canadian citizens: More than one-quarter of Regina's immigrants who landed in Canada during 1986-1995 and were born in these countries have dual citizenship:
Poland
Viet Nam
India
United States
Poland
United States
El Salvador
Percent of immigrants with Canadian citizenship (including those with dual citizenship) Percent of immigrants with dual citizenship
Immigrated before 1986 89% Immigrated before 1986 8%
Immigrated 1986-1995 82% Immigrated 1986-1995 12%

Note: Countries of birth are listed from highest to lowest rate of Canadian citizenship in column 1, lowest to highest citizenship rate in column 2, and highest to lowest rate of dual citizenship in column 3. Citizenship refers to a person’s legal citizenship status, as reported in the 2001 Census. In Canada, there is a residence requirement of three years before Canadian citizenship can be acquired. As a result, many immigrants who landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001 were not yet eligible for Canadian citizenship at the time the census was carried out in 2001. For this reason, this group is not considered here. Instead, the table focuses on persons who immigrated between 1986 and 1995.

A significant share of immigrants from India and the United States are postponing or forgoing Canadian citizenship. The rate of acquisition of Canadian citizenship by persons who immigrated to Canada from these countries between 1986 and 1995 is less than 70%, the lowest being 52% for India.

Immigrants from these countries may want to keep open the option of returning to their country of birth or retaining the right to settle and work in any member state of the European Union. Depending on policies in countries of birth, people may not be able to retain their original nationality if they become Canadian citizens. As well, children born in Canada while the immigrant parents are still citizens of their country of birth may be citizens of that country, but not if their parents have become Canadian citizens.

Overall, the large majority of immigrants clearly continue to opt for Canadian citizenship. Eighty-two percent of Regina’s immigrants who landed six to fifteen years before May 2001 had become Canadian citizens by that date, compared to 83% of the comparable cohort five years earlier, at the time of the 1996 Census.

Twelve percent of immigrants who landed during the 1986 to 1995 period had acquired Canadian citizenship while retaining the citizenship of another country. Dual citizenship is more common among recent than earlier immigrants. Among Regina’s immigrants who landed in Canada before 1986, 8% reported dual citizenship in 2001. The incidence of dual citizenship among immigrants who landed six to fifteen years before the census was lower in 2001 than in 1996 (14%).

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