Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Winnipeg—A Comparative Profile Based on the 2001 Census
Part B: Who Are the Recent Immigrants?
Origin, immigration category and religion
Asian origins are prevalent among recent immigrants
Winnipeg’s immigrants come from all over the world and represent a diversity of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Over the past several decades there has been a considerable change in the source countries of immigrants. In 2001, for example, there were 13,400 residents of Winnipeg who had landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001. The most common country of birth for these immigrants was the Philippines, accounting for 24% of these new residents, followed by India, which supplied 8%. The ten most common countries of birth, accounting for almost 60% of very recent immigrants, were the Philippines, India, China, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Yugoslavia, Viet Nam and Ethiopia.
|10||China, People's Republic of||3,470||3%|
|Top ten countries||70,970||65%|
|All other countries||38,420||35%|
|Immigrated before 1986|
|Top ten countries||48,460||70%|
|All other countries||21,220||30%|
|6||China, People's Republic of||980||4%|
|Top ten countries||18,280||70%|
|All other countries||8,010||30%|
|3||China, People's Republic of||990||7%|
|4||Bosnia and Herzegovina||500||4%|
|Top ten countries||7,950||59%|
|All other countries||5,470||41%|
Among Winnipeg’s earlier immigrants—those arriving in Canada before 1986—the United Kingdom and the Philippines were the most common countries of birth, together accounting for 27% of this group.
In general, the birth origins of Winnipeg’s immigrant population vary in relation to the period of immigration. European birth origins are predominant among those who immigrated in the 1950s, the 1960s and, to a lesser extent, the 1970s, and Asian birth origins are more prevalent among those who immigrated in the 1980s and 1990s. Four of the top ten countries of birth of very recent immigrants and five of the top ten countries of birth of immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period are in Asia.
A favoured destination for immigrants from the Philippines
For some immigrant groups, Winnipeg is a top destination. For example, of the 161,100 Philippine-born individuals who immigrated after 1985 and were living in Canada in 2001, 11,110 or 7% were living in Winnipeg. Winnipeg is also home to a large share of recent immigrants from Ethiopia, El Salvador and Bosnia and Herzegovina. On average, 1.6% of recent immigrants chose Winnipeg as their place of residence.
|Country of Birth||Total recent immigrants to Canada||Share residing in Winnipeg|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||23,170||3.7%|
|All recent immigrants||2,491,850||1.6%|
|Trinidad and Tobago||28,790||1.5%|
|South Africa, Republic of||19,890||1.3%|
Note: Table B-2 lists all countries that are the place of birth of at least 10,000 recent immigrants living in Canada in 2001, with Winnipeg’s share being 1% or more.
Share of economic immigrants increasing
Statistics published by Citizenship and Immigration Canada show that the number of immigrants who reported Winnipeg as their destination when they landed in Canada decreased by 3,000 between the second half of the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, and by a further 5,200 in the second half of the 1990s. The decline was concentrated in the family and refugee classes, while the number of economic immigrants increased. One-half of very recent immigrants destined for Winnipeg entered through the economic category.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2002 (data set).
Note: The 2001 Census did not ask immigrants about the immigration categories through which they were admitted to Canada. The information in Table B-3 was obtained from records at Citizenship and Immigration Canada and pertains to the time of landing. Immigration categories are described in the Glossary.
Within the family class, the number of spouses showed little change over the three five-year periods and in the latest 1996-2000 period amounted to more than one-half of this category. The number of other relatives—parents and grandparents, sons and daughters and fiancés—fell sharply from about 6,000 during the 1991-1995 period to 2,000 during the 1996-2000 period.
As for refugees, both government-assisted and privately-sponsored refugees became much less numerous. Five thousand government-assisted refugees were destined to Winnipeg when they landed during the 1986-1990 period, and one-half of that number headed to Winnipeg during each of the two halves of the 1990s. Less than 1,000 privately-sponsored refugees entered in the second half of the 1990s, only one-quarter of the number that entered in the second half of the 1980s.
Skilled workers and their dependants account for the lion’s share of economic immigrants, and there was a steady flow of new entrants in this category destined for Winnipeg throughout the 1986-2000 period. During the latest five years, the ranks of the economic category were boosted by 1,000 provincial nominees.
Religions changing with countries of origin
Recent immigrants have brought to Winnipeg several religions that were virtually absent before 1986. While the majority of very recent immigrants are Christians, the proportions adhering to the Muslim and Sikh faiths are higher than among earlier immigrants. Buddhists and Hindus make up a small and stable share of immigrants. Among the Canadian-born, each of these four non-Christian religions claims the allegiance of less than 1% of the population.
|Canadian-born||Immigrants||Immigrated before 1986||Immigrated 1986-1995||Immigrated 1996-2001|
Note: Religions are listed in order of their share of the population of Canada, from highest to lowest, with Christian religions grouped together.
Roman Catholics are relatively more numerous among the immigrant population than among the Canadian-born population of Winnipeg, although, in the case of very recent immigrants, only by a slight margin. Four in ten Canadian-born persons are Protestant, with the United Church having the largest following among the major Protestant churches, accounting for 15% of the population group. Only 1% of recent immigrants is affiliated with the United Church. The proportion of immigrants reporting an Orthodox Christian faith has increased somewhat with the arrival of more immigrants from Eastern Europe in recent years.
Age and gender
Nearly one-half of recent immigrants are adults 25 to 44 years old
The age distribution of the recent immigrant population (those arriving between 1996 and 2001) is markedly different from that of the Canadian-born population, with a larger proportion aged 25 to 44 and proportionally fewer seniors and children under 15 years of age. In 1996, nearly one-half of recent immigrants living in Winnipeg were between the ages of 25 and 44, compared to three-tenths of Canadian-born individuals. Children under 15 years of age accounted for the same share among very recent immigrants and the Canadian-born, 22%.
|Under 15 years||15 to 24 years||25 to 44 years||45 to 64 years||65 years and over||Total|
|Immigrated before 1986||0||650||7,880||15,730||12,160||36,410|
|Immigrated before 1986||0||900||7,610||15,160||9,610||33,270|
|Immigrated before 1986||0||1,550||15,500||30,880||21,760||69,680|
|Immigrated before 1986||0%||2%||22%||44%||31%||100%|
These differences in age structure are to some degree a result of how we define immigrants and the Canadian-born. The immigrant population grows older like the Canadian population but does not renew itself in the same way, as children born in Canada to immigrants are not considered immigrants. Thus, there are no persons under 15 years of age among immigrants who landed before 1986, and the older age groups are over-represented among these earlier immigrants. By the same token, the share of children among the Canadian-born is large as it includes children born to immigrant parents.
The age structure of very recent immigrants closely resembles age at arrival. Immigrants tend to arrive in Canada during their prime working-age years. This was the case among immigrants who landed more than 30 years ago, and it is still the case today. It is therefore not surprising that a large share of very recent immigrants were in the 25 to 44 age group.
Many of the characteristics and circumstances described in this profile vary with age. Differences between immigrants or groups of immigrants and the Canadian-born often are at least in part a reflection of differences in the age structure.
Figure B-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born, by age, Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage distribution)
More women than men
The proportion of women in the recent immigrant population in Winnipeg is the same as that of the Canadian-born population. More than 60% of recent immigrants from Croatia and Guyana are women, but the number of immigrants from these countries is relatively small.
|Under 15 years||15 to 24 years||25 to 44 years||45 to 64 years||65 years and over||Total|
|Immigrated before 1986||-||42%||51%||51%||56%||52%|
There are 800 more women than men among the 39,700 recent immigrants in Winnipeg. The number of women is particularly high among recent immigrants from the Philippines (700 more women than men out of 11,110 recent immigrants) and India (220 more women than men out of 2,600 recent immigrants).
As women on average live longer than men, they make up a large share of persons aged 65 years and over. But the higher proportion of women among recent immigrants is not related to age. For instance, among recent immigrants from the Philippines, women outnumber men by more than 400 in the 25-44 age group. Some of them have obtained permanent resident status after a period of employment as live-in caregivers.
At the opposite end of the spectrum of gender mix are the United Kingdom, Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Fifty-five percent or more of recent immigrants from these countries are men. Men outnumber women by 180 among recent immigrants from the United Kingdom and by 80 in the case of Romania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The gender balance, by country of origin, has not changed greatly since 1996.
Language and education
More than nine in ten very recent immigrants speak English or French
A large majority of Winnipeg’s immigrants of 15 years of age and over reported being able to carry on a conversation in at least one of Canada’s two official languages. Even among very recent immigrants, who landed in Canada from 1996 to 2001, nine in ten (94% of men and 89% of women) reported being able to speak an official language in May 2001. Only one in ten of these very recent immigrants could not speak either official language. Knowledge of official languages is somewhat more widespread among those who immigrated in earlier periods: 94% of those arriving between 1986 and 1995 and 97% of those arriving before 1986 indicated that they were able to speak an official language.
|English only||French only||English and French||Neither English nor French||Total|
|15 to 24 years||1,140||-||50||40||1,230|
|25 to 44 years||2,850||10||120||200||3,180|
|45 to 64 years||530||-||20||230||770|
|65 years and over||120||-||10||150||280|
|15 years and over||4,640||-||190||620||5,440|
|15 to 24 years||1,050||-||70||30||1,140|
|25 to 44 years||2,610||10||180||80||2,870|
|45 to 64 years||650||-||50||130||820|
|65 years and over||130||-||-||80||210|
|15 years and over||4,430||10||300||310||5,050|
|15 to 24 years||2,190||-||120||70||2,370|
|25 to 44 years||5,460||10||300||280||6,040|
|45 to 64 years||1,170||-||70||350||1,590|
|65 years and over||250||-||20||230||490|
|15 years and over||9,060||20||490||920||10,480|
|15 to 24 years||93%||0%||4%||3%||96%|
|25 to 44 years||90%||0%||4%||6%||96%|
|45 to 64 years||69%||0%||3%||30%||75%|
|65 years and over||43%||0%||4%||54%||41%|
|15 years and over||85%||0%||3%||11%||91%|
|15 to 24 years||92%||0%||6%||3%||100%|
|25 to 44 years||91%||0%||6%||3%||100%|
|45 to 64 years||79%||0%||6%||16%||100%|
|65 years and over||62%||0%||0%||38%||100%|
|15 years and over||88%||0%||6%||6%||100%|
|15 to 24 years||92%||0%||5%||3%||100%|
|25 to 44 years||90%||0%||5%||5%||100%|
|45 to 64 years||74%||0%||4%||22%||100%|
|65 years and over||51%||0%||4%||47%||100%|
|15 years and over||86%||0%||5%||9%||100%|
The proportion of Winnipeg’s immigrants able to carry on a conversation in English or French decreases with age. Among immigrants under age 45 who landed in Canada between 1996 and 2001, almost all are able to speak an official language, and there is little difference between men and women in this regard. Among those aged 45 to 64, however, the percentage that can speak English or French is lower, and more so for women than for men. For both men and women, seniors aged 65 and over are least likely to have conversational ability in English or French.
Ability to converse in either or both official languages has improved with the very recent immigrant cohort: 2% more men and 2% more women had this ability in 2001 compared to a similar cohort (those who landed within the five years prior to the census) in 1996. This may reflect changes in countries of origin, the increase in the number of economic immigrants and perhaps also greater awareness among immigrants of the need to speak Canada’s languages before and after arrival.
Nearly two in three very recent immigrants speak a foreign language at home
For the majority of Winnipeg’s recent immigrants, the language spoken most often at home is one other than English or French. Six in ten immigrants who landed between 1996 and 2001 most often speak a foreign language in their homes.
Figure B-2 : Immigrants by period of immigration—15 years of age and over—use of a foreign language at home, Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (percentage)
The use of foreign languages is also high among other immigrant cohorts. Over half of those who immigrated between 1986 and 1995 and three in ten of those who immigrated prior to 1986 most often spoke a foreign language at home.
The use of foreign languages in the home, for a given length of stay in Canada, was much the same in 2001 as in 1996.
Very high level of education among very recent immigrants
The share of recent immigrants with a minimal education is larger than the share of the Canadian-born with a minimal education. The Canadian-born are more likely than immigrants to have some high school or to have completed college or a trade diploma. Very recent immigrants, however, boast a large number of university graduates, accounting for twice as large a share of persons 15 years of age and over than in the case of the Canadian-born.
When education levels are compared by age group, the younger generation has a much higher level of education than older groups, whether born inside or outside Canada. One in five persons under 45 years of age born in Canada has not completed high school, compared to three in five seniors. Nearly six in ten Canadian-born persons under 45 years of age have a post-secondary diploma or degree, compared to one-third of Canadian-born men and one-quarter of women over 65 years of age. A similar difference in educational qualifications is observed among immigrants.
|Less than grade 9||Some high school||High school diploma||College or trade diploma||University degree||Total|
|Immigrated before 1986||7,670||8,360||6,570||8,980||4,850||36,410|
|Immigrated before 1986||5,010||6,460||5,600||10,390||5,820||33,270|
|Immigrated before 1986||12,670||14,810||12,170||19,370||10,670||69,690|
|Immigrated before 1986||21%||23%||18%||25%||13%||100%|
|Immigrated before 1986||15%||19%||17%||31%||17%||100%|
|Immigrated before 1986||18%||21%||17%||28%||15%||100%|
|No high school diploma||With post-secondary diploma or degree|
|25 to 44
|45 to 65
|65 years and over||25 to 44 years||45 to 65 years||65 years and over|
|Immigrated before 1986||2,030||5,570||8,320||4,090||7,230||2,340|
|Immigrated before 1986||1,830||4,210||5,150||3,940||8,550||3,530|
|Immigrated before 1986||3,870||9,760||13,480||8,010||15,780||5,860|
|Immigrated before 1986||26%||35%||68%||52%||46%||19%|
|Immigrated before 1986||24%||28%||54%||52%||56%||37%|
|Immigrated before 1986||25%||32%||62%||52%||51%||27%|
Two-thirds of men aged 25-44 who immigrated during the 1996-2001 period have a post-secondary diploma or degree, compared to just over one-half of Canadian-born men. In the same age group, three-fifths of both very recent immigrant women and Canadian-born women, respectively, have post-secondary diplomas or degrees. By the same token, the share of women with less than high school is the same for very recent immigrants and the Canadian-born in the 25-44 age group, while for men it is smaller among very recent immigrants. This very high education level of very recent immigrants is something new. In 1996, immigrants who had landed in the five years prior to the census were not as well educated as very recent immigrants in 2001.
Overall, the education levels of immigrants and the Canadian-born are similar, with immigrant women having somewhat less and immigrant men somewhat more schooling than their Canadian-born counterparts.
Recent immigrants add to Winnipeg’s pool of scientists and engineers
Approximately two in three men who immigrated after 1995 and have a post-secondary diploma or degree majored in physical sciences, engineering or trades. This compares to one in two Canadian-born men. Among women with a post-secondary diploma or degree, about one in four very recent immigrants have studied some physical science or technology, compared to one in nine Canadian-born women with similar education levels.
|Physical sciences, engineering and trades||Social sciences, education and arts||Commerce, management and business administration||Health professions and related technologies||Total|
|Immigrated before 1986||1,180||1,610||1,580||1,190||5,550|
|Immigrated before 1986||3,150||840||660||440||5,090|
|Immigrated before 1986||4,310||2,450||2,230||1,620||10,600|
|Immigrated before 1986||21%||29%||28%||21%||100%|
|Immigrated before 1986||62%||17%||13%||9%||100%|
|Immigrated before 1986||41%||23%||21%||15%||100%|
By contrast, very recent immigrants are represented in significantly smaller proportions than the Canadian-born in the social sciences, education and the arts (taken as a group) and in commerce, management and business administration (taken as a group). The several immigrant cohorts and the Canadian-born are more alike with respect to the proportion that specialize in health professions and technologies. The educational choices of immigrants, recent immigrants and the Canadian-born remain much the same as in 1996.
Recent immigrants more likely to attend school
Very recent immigrants are relatively likely to be in school. School attendance is at least twice as high among very recent immigrants as among the Canadian-born, in both the 25-44 and 45-64 age groups.
|15 to 24 years||25 to 44 years||45 to 64 years||15 to 24 years||25 to 44 years||45 to 64 years|
|Immigrated before 1986||410||1,070||600||63%||14%||4%|
|Immigrated before 1986||430||950||360||47%||12%||2%|
|Immigrated before 1986||830||2,030||980||53%||13%||3%|
School attendance, of course, is much higher in the youngest age group, persons of 15 to 24 years of age, than in older age groups. Here we find a much higher rate for men who immigrated very recently than for the Canadian-born and a somewhat higher rate in the case of women. The latter is just as noteworthy as the former, as educational participation of young Canadian-born women is very high by international standards.
School attendance is also high among young earlier immigrants. For this group, language is not likely to be an issue, since they landed as young children.
School attendance rates for immigrant men are similar to those in 1996, but very recent immigrant women were more likely to be in school in 2001 than in 1996.
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