2016 Census: Welcome to Canada - 150 years of immigration

Archived information

Archived information is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2017007

Release date: October 25, 2017
2016 Census: Welcome to Canada: 150 years of immigration - Transcript

Description of visuals

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear onscreen with the title: "2016 Census: Welcome to Canada: 150 years of immigration")

According to 2016 Census data, 7.5 million people born abroad reported coming to Canada through the immigration process, a proportion of more than 1 in 5 people.

(The 2016 Census logo rotates into view. Several dots fly out of the logo toward the right of the screen. The words "7.5 million people born abroad came through the immigration process" appear on screen. Human silhouettes emerge from the dots and walk between crowds of people holding Canadian flags toward a finish line banner with the words "Welcome to Canada!" Fireworks explode. The words "More than 1 in 5 people (21.9%)" appear on screen.)

This is close to the proportion of 22.3% observed in the 1921 Census, a record high since Canadian Confederation.

(A flag is held up from the crowd with the words "Proportion of 22.3% in the 1921 Census" on it. A second flag is raised, reading "A record high since Canadian Confederation.")

The 1871 Census enumerated approximately 600,000 foreign-born individuals (16.1% of the total population), the majority of whom were from the United Kingdom and Ireland, followed distantly by the United States, Germany and France.

(Curtains and a stage slide into view. A humanoid census survey wearing a hat with the words "1871 Census" on it walks onto the stage. The words "approximately 600,000 foreign-born individuals" appear on screen. Those words disappear, and a pie chart with the words "16.1% of the total population" appears on the left side of the screen. A humanoid United Kingdom flag walks on stage, followed by a four-leaf clover (representing Ireland), an American flag, a German flag and a French flag wearing a beret.)

At the beginning of the 20th century, Canada's borders expanded and the country encouraged an influx of immigrants to settle in the Prairies, British Columbia and the territories. As a result, the foreign-born population rose significantly—especially up to the beginning of World War I— to nearly 2 million people in 1921. At that time, immigrants were mostly from the British Isles, but the proportion of immigrants from other European countries—mainly Eastern Europe—rose, which altered the ethnocultural profile of various regions.

(A cloud of chalk dust reveals a professor standing in front of a blackboard. On the board, the words "Canada beginning of the 20th century" appear. A circle expands and reveals a map of Canada. Stick figures walk toward the map and build houses in the Prairies, British Columbia and the territories.)

(The map and houses disappear and are replaced by the words "Foreign-born population." An upward-pointing arrow grows above the words. The camera moves backwards and reveals barbed wire and a First World War helmet resting on a rifle. The camera quickly zooms in on the arrow and the words "2 million people in 1921" appear on top of it.)

(A hand unrolls a world map. A finger points to the British Isles, where the words "British Isles" appear. The finger then points to Eastern Europe on the map and the words "Eastern Europe" appear next to it. Arrows from both locations appear and point toward Canada. The hand rolls up the map.)

Immigration slowed between 1931 and 1945 due to the economic crisis of the 1930s and World War II.

(A man is seen sitting at a desk piled high with stacks of paper. The sign "Immigration Canada" can be seen on the wall behind him. Outside the window, days and seasons fly by. The piles of paper slowly disappear. The camera zooms in on the building inside a snow globe on the man's desk.)

Renewed economic activity and immigration marked the post-war period. Between 1945 and 1980, Canada welcomed many immigrants from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece, who settled primarily in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

(The inside of the building is displayed on the screen. A power switch appears in front of a machine and a hand flicks it from "Off" to "On." The machine begins functioning.)

(The camera moves outside the building and the years "1945" and "1980" appear on screen separated by a horizontal line. A world map appears on screen. Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece are highlighted and pop up from the map. The same happens to the Canadian provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.)

Starting in the 1960s, various international events as well as changes to immigration policy, including the introduction of the points system, led to Canada opening its doors to more immigrants from other countries.

(An Immigration Canada building is seen on screen. An African woman is sitting at a desk writing a test. She then holds up a piece of paper with the words "Points system" and a score of 83.)

In 2016, immigrants had more than 200 places of birth. The majority of people who arrived between 2011 and 2016 (61.8%) were born in Asia, including the Middle East.

(Doors slide open to show a blue sky and clouds. Airplanes fly in front of the clouds revealing the words "2016" and "200 places of birth" on the clouds.)

(The camera zooms out to an air traffic control room. Three people are sitting in front of consoles, with two television screens to either side. On the left-hand television screens, the years "2011" and "2016" are written. On a right-hand television, the number "61.8%" appears. The year "2011" is then replaced by the words "Air Asia landing," and "2016" is replaced by "Air Middle East landing.")

The leading countries of birth of recent immigrants were the Philippines, India and China.

(The camera moves outside to the tarmac of the airport, where airplanes labelled "Philippines," "India" and "China" can be seen. Another airplane with the words "Middle East" lands on the left side of the screen.)

On account of the shift in the source countries of immigration, the composition of the population of each province and territory has become more diverse and has made Canada what it is today. To learn more about the 2016 Census results for your community, visit www.statcan.gc.ca/census.

(Silhouettes of people in a crowd appear on screen. They are waving flags from the United States, Syria, Iran, the Philippines, Pakistan, India and China. A big Canadian flag appears behind them all.)

(A laptop slides into view. The 2016 Census logo appears on the laptop screen, followed by the website address "www.statcan.gc.ca/census.")

(The slogan "Your census. Your neighbourhood. Your future." appears.)

(The Canada wordmark also appears.)

Date modified: