StatsCAN Plus

Chinese New Year and quality of life among Chinese in Canada

January 24, 2023, 11:00 a.m. (EST)

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, marks the beginning of the new year based on the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Filled with celebrations, feasting and gatherings, it is an important holiday among many in East Asian countries along with their diaspora around the world.

In 2023, Chinese New Year started on January 22 (Sunday) and will end on February 5. Typically, the holiday is celebrated for 16 days, with preparations starting as early as a few weeks beforehand. The days leading up to Chinese New Year are spent organizing, cleaning, preparing traditional dishes and planning family reunions.

This year will be the year of the water rabbit which symbolizes longevity, peace, and prosperity. Did you know that the year of the water rabbit only happens every 60 years? The last time a year of the rabbit was observed was in 1963. It’s been a long time coming! (or should we say, hopping?!?).

How many people might be celebrating Chinese New Year in Canada in 2023? According to the 2021 Census, there were more than 1.7 million Chinese people residing in Canada in 2021, according to the visible minority concept, representing 4.7% of the total population.

The Chinese population in Canada is made up of people with a wide spectrum of experiences, from those who have recently immigrated to those whose families have contributed to the fabric of Canada for generations. As of 2021, just over 7 in 10 Chinese people (71.6%) living in Canada were “first generation”, meaning they were born outside of Canada. Meanwhile, 24.9% were “second generation”—meaning they were born in Canada but at least one of their parents was not. An additional 3.5% were “third generation or more,” meaning both of their parents were born in Canada.

New Year’s events are often a time for reflection and mark a period when many Canadians assess their quality of life. The Canadian Social Survey (CSS) collects data for many indicators which are part of the Quality of Life Framework for Canada, and provide information on how the population in Canada is doing overall. For example, respondents from the CSS—collected from July 2022 to August 2022—were asked to rate how satisfied they are with their life, their sense of meaning and purpose, and their general and mental health.

When asked about how they felt about their life as a whole, nearly 5 in 10 (47.1%) Chinese people in Canada rated their life satisfaction highly. Older Chinese people said they have good quality of life, with nearly 6 in 10 (57.2%) Chinese people aged 35 years and older rating their life satisfaction highly.

Data also showed that half (50.0%) of the Chinese population in Canada reported that their sense of meaning and purpose in life was high and that 61.1% said they always or often have someone to count on. Similar trends between Chinese people in Canada under 35 years of age and 35 years of age and older, are noted, where 63.9% and 58.9%, respectively, reported that they always or often have someone to count on.

When asked to rate their general health, around half (50.7%) of Chinese people in Canada reported that their health was excellent or very good. The share of those who reported excellent or very good mental health was similar to general health, as 48.2% of Chinese people in Canada rated their mental health positively.

Data in this article are based on the 2021 Census of Population and the Canadian Social Survey, collected from July 2022 to August 2022.

StatsCAN app

Did you know you can read StatsCAN Plus articles and more on the StatsCAN app? If you’re already using the app, let us know what you think by leaving a review in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Contact information

For more information, contact the Statistical Information Service (toll-free 1-800-263-1136514-283-8300; or Media Relations (