Immigrants now make up almost 24 per cent of Guelph’s inhabitants

2021 census data shows most common countries of origin have shifted in recent years

Newly released 2021 census data shows a shift in Guelph’s growing immigrant population.

Immigrants made up 23.8 per cent, or 33,780 of Guelph’s overall population in 2021, an increase of 5,885, or 17 per cent, over 2016.

The main places of birth for immigrants living in Guelph in 2021 were India, the UK and the Philippines, although recent trends show an increase in new immigrants from Eritrea, the Philippines and India, and fewer new immigrants coming from the UK – although they are still make up 9.7 per cent of total immigrants in Guelph.

The largest immigrant population in Guelph is from India, making up 19.5 per cent of recent immigrants and 11 per cent of total immigrants. The biggest spike, however, has been with recent immigrants from Eritrea: in 2016, they made up only 5.2 per cent of recent immigrants, but by 2021 that number grew to 17.6 per cent, though only four per cent of total immigrants in Guelph.

Filipino immigrants made up 22.1 per cent of the recent immigrant population in 2016, and only 9.3 in 2021 – a significant drop, but it’s still the third most common birth place for recent immigrants in Guelph.

Meanwhile, Syrian immigrants jumped from two per cent to seven per cent in 2021, and recent immigrants from China dropped from 10.2 per cent of the population to only 3.3 per cent in 2021.

In proportion to population size, Guelph’s immigrant population is also growing faster than Ontario’s and Canada’s. From 2011 to 2021, Guelph saw an increase of 3.2 per cent of the immigrant population, while Ontario only saw a change of 1.5 per cent and Canada 2.4 per cent.

Even so, 8.3 million people were or had been a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada – the largest proportion since 1921.

If this trend continues, Statistic Canada projects immigrants could represent from 29.1 to 34 per cent of the national population by 2041.

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