A Brief History of Remittances and Immigration in Canada

We don’t talk enough about Canadian immigration even though it is one of the largest melting pots by ratio. Last year alone, Canada admitted 321,065 immigrants. And, for the many migrant workers living in the Great White North, we also have big news!

We just launched Ria’s Canadian transactional website, a platform through which customers can send money to their loved ones from the comfort of their homes.

To celebrate, let’s take a look at immigration in Canada and how it impacts remittances worldwide.

Migrating to Canada

Out of all members of the G8 (now G7), a council made up of the world’s most industrialized nations, the Great White North has the highest proportion of immigrants. We’re talking about 7.5 million migrants, representing 20% of the overall population.

As of today, the largest expat communities in Canada are Indian (668,565 residents) and Chinese (649,260), with most immigrants coming from Asia (Middle East inclusive). Hence, it’s not surprising that Chinese languages, Tagalog, Spanish and Punjabi are the most widely spoken after the official languages, English and French. 

Most immigrants in Canada live within the urban areas of Ontario, British Colombia, Quebec and Alberta, with the biggest concentrations found in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.

via Canada.ca

According to the last census, between British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, immigrants own 1,825,580 properties, which would account for around 23% of the migrant population. However, this number does include immigrants who own multiple houses.

That being said, is it possible for immigrants to purchase homes?

Well, their median income is of CA$55,700, while refugees who have been in the country for five years have a median income of CA$21,700.  Although less than half, this number had seen a 29% increase by 2016.

Canada’s impact on remittances

According to the World Bank, the top destinations for remittances sent from Canada in 2018 were China (US$4.144 billion), India (US$2.877 billion), Philippines (US$2.37 billion), France (US$1.297 billion), Vietnam (US$953 million), and Lebanon (US$853 million).

However, a 2017 Canadian study focusing on residents born in Official Development Assistance-eligible countries (ODA), found that the Filipino community had made the most money transfers to friends and family that year.

In general ODA terms, the majority of remitters were born in Southeast Asia and Oceania (57%) followed by Eastern Asia (11%).

The study also found 59% o remitters sent money abroad to pay for living expenses like food and housing, while 43% sent money to pay for medical expenses. The most popular sending method among respondents was in-person at a money transfer store.

In essence, it’s no surprise that many people like moving to Canada. The Great White North might be cold, but it sure is welcoming.