Immigrants represent over 23% of the population of the Windsor region

The Windsor region is only one of ten communities with a higher proportion of immigrants compared to Canada as a whole

The latest version of 2021 census data shows that 23.3 per cent of the Windsor area’s population was made up of immigrants, the tenth largest of 41 major urban centres.

Fred Francis, CEO of the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, says immigration is critical to our prosperity.

“Most immigrants come to Canada with economic status, so they are people who come on the ground. They are your professionals, your engineers, your health professionals, your doctors, your nurses. This is going to be vital,” he said.

This figure is just above the national average of 23%, as more than 8.3 million people in Canada were or had been landed immigrants or permanent residents.

Just over 1.3 million new immigrants settled permanently in Canada from 2016 to 2021, the highest number of recent immigrants recorded in a Canadian census. Of this figure, 1.2% of immigrants came to Windsor during this period, for a total of 15,830 people.

Francis says the numbers speak to the welcoming nature of our region.

“For some reason, I think it’s cultural, I think it’s a welcoming community. But people who come to Windsor from other countries are able to settle in and be successful relatively quickly and maybe even faster than other parts of the country and other parts of the continent,” he says.

Francis says immigrants are generally drawn to job opportunities and economic opportunities.

“That’s always been the case in Windsor with the big three and manufacturing jobs where you can get a good paying job, raise your family, educate your kids and build yourself a better life from the country you’re from. immigrate. With the upcoming electric vehicle battery factory, and more employment and economic opportunities, I expect this to be an attraction,” he adds.

According to Statistics Canada, immigration is the main driver of population growth, in part because of the aging population and low fertility rates in the country.

Previously, the majority of immigrants to Canada came from Europe, but now most immigrants come from Asia, including the Middle East.

One in five immigrants to Canada was born in India, making it the top country of birth for newcomers.

The Statistics Canada report indicates that new immigrants tend to join existing immigrant communities already established across the country, especially in its largest cities. Family, friends, jobs, housing and lifestyle are some of the main factors immigrants consider when choosing their new home.

The greater urban center of Toronto has the highest proportion of immigrants overall. In 2021, almost half (46.6%) of the population living in the Toronto CMA were immigrants.

With files from The Canadian Press