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Face of Manitoba evolves due to diversity

Birth rate affects housing, child-welfare system

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Landed immigrants hold up their right hands as they recite an oath to become Canadian citizens at a Citizenship Ceremony in February.</p>


Landed immigrants hold up their right hands as they recite an oath to become Canadian citizens at a Citizenship Ceremony in February.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/10/2017 (985 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA — Manitoba may become the first province with a non-white majority if demographic trends continue.

Census data released Wednesday has Manitoba and British Columbia tied for the province with the lowest percentage of Caucasians. In May 2016, 63 per cent of respondents self-identified as Caucasian, meaning they were neither a visible minority nor Indigenous.

The data show that of all cities, Winnipeg has the second-highest proportion of new immigrants.

Some 6.9 per cent of people living in the Winnipeg area last year had only arrived in Canada in the previous five years. Regina’s percentage is highest at seven per cent — though 56 per cent of immigrants settle around Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

And while Winnipeg has only 2.2 per cent of the country’s population, it accounts for 4.3 per cent of the country’s new immigrants.

Looking at immigrants overall — including those who arrived before 2011 — the metro area’s population is 23.9 per cent immigrants, a higher rate than in Montreal or Edmonton.

Provincially, the percentage of Manitobans who are immigrants rose from 1.8 per cent to 5.2 per cent from 2001 to 2016.

That trend, along with people discovering their Aboriginal roots and an Indigenous birth rate that is higher than the general population, is making Manitoba increasingly diverse.

In 2006, 70 per cent of Manitobans identified as Caucasian, a number that dropped to 65 per cent in 2011. In that same period, B.C. had a more gradual drop, from 71 per cent to 67 per cent.

Nationally, the population dropped to 71 per cent Caucasian in 2016 from 80 per cent in 2006. (Nunavut and the Northwest Territories have an Indigenous majority.)

Wednesday’s data highlight the success of a program that has Manitobans select workers and nannies from abroad. Since 2001, just 16.4 per cent of all immigrants to Canada arrived through provincial or territorial nominee programs. But the rate is more than half for Manitoba, Saskatchewan, the Yukon, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Manitoba has welcomed 180,810 immigrants since 1980. More than half of them — 91,840 — were admitted through the nominee program. More than three-quarters live in the Winnipeg area.

The province’s top five sources of immigration overall are: the Philippines, India, Britain, Germany and China. Since 2011, immigrants from Nigeria and Pakistan have outpaced those from Britain and Germany.


Dylan Robertson

Dylan Robertson
Parliamentary bureau chief

In Ottawa, Dylan enjoys snooping through freedom-of-information requests and asking politicians: "What about Manitoba?"

Read full biography


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Updated on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 8:06 AM CDT: Updates

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