Abbotsford’s Sikh numbers nearly double over last decade: Statistics Canada

Published: May 8, 2013
Centre for Indo Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley

Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, co-ordinator of the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley, comments on the positive increase of Sikhs to Abbotsford on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Les Bazso/PNG

 

SUE LAZARUK
VANCOUVER DESI

The number of Sikhs in the Abbotsford area has almost doubled in the past 10 years, confirming its place as a major hub for citizens of Punjabi descent, according to 2011 Statistics Canada data released on Wednesday.

The figures are among the data released by the federal agency from the 2011 National Household Survey, the voluntary collection of statistics that replaced the mandatory census.

The survey also showed that almost 70 per cent of those who responded in Abbotsford-Mission reported a religious affiliation, much higher than B.C.’s provincial level of 56 per cent.

The percentage of the population of the census metropolitan area who ticked the box next to Sikh in 2011 was 28,235, or 16.9 per cent of the area’s population.

In 2001, the last year data were collected on religion, there were 16,780 Sikhs living in the Abbotsford CMA.

The settlement of immigrant Sikhs in Abbotsford, along with in Surrey and Brampton, Ont., and not in major larger cities, such as Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, is unique among established Canadian immigration patterns, said Daniel Hiebert, a geography professor at UBC.

“Immigrants used to arrive and settle in the big cities and then move out to the suburbs,” he said. “Canadians haven’t seen a lot of this [settling in smaller cities] in the past.”

“The doubling of the Sikh population is adding to the very fabric of what makes our community so unique in its diversity,” said Sharanjit Kaur Sandhra, co-ordinator of the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Half of the 5,935 immigrants who settled in Abbotsford between 2006 and 2011 came from India, with the next largest number coming from the United Kingdom, at nine per cent, followed by Americans, at 4.4 per cent.

In the rest of B.C., the top three countries immigrants moved from were China, at 14 per cent, India, 12 per cent, and the U.K., 11 per cent.

A quarter of Abbotsford’s population belonged to a visible minority group, compared to 27 per cent of B.C. as a whole.

Visible minority residents of Abbotsford-Mission were also younger, at 31.6 years old, than the average age of the province’s visible minority population, with a median age of 35.7, the survey showed.

The proportion of the population of the province overall that were immigrants in 2011 was 27.6 per cent, while 70.9 per cent were born in Canada (and 1.5 per cent were non-permanent residents).

Abbotsford population in 2011 was reported at 166,680, half of whom are Christian. About 53 per cent claimed no religious affiliation.

Abbotsford’s growth in its immigrant population helped give Canada the highest proportion of foreign-born population (20.6 per cent), followed by Germany (13 per cent) and the United States (12.9 per cent), the survey showed.

In total, 1.2 million immigrants came to Canada between 2006 and 2011.

During the recent five-year period, the largest share of immigrants to Canada (56.9 per cent) came from Asia and the Middle East — compared to how just 8.5 per cent of immigrants to Canada before 1970 came from that region.

All the while, Canada is experiencing mixed changes on religion. Nearly one-quarter of Canadians (23.9 per cent) had no religious affiliation last year, up from 15 per cent a decade earlier.

That’s not to say that religion is dead in Canada. About 22.1 million Canadians (67.3 per cent of the population) are Christians. Roman Catholics are the largest of that group, with 12.7 million Canadians (38.7 per cent) saying they are Catholics.

However, because of immigration patterns, other religions are slowly taking root. Last year, 2.4 million Canadians (7.2 per cent) were either Muslim, Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist — up from 4.9 per cent a decade earlier.

Highlights:

  • Mission CMA: 166,685
  • Canadian citizens: 154,720
  • Canadian citizens aged under 18: 38,445
  • Canadian citizens aged 18 and over: 116,270
  • Not Canadian citizens: 11,965
  • Total population of B.C.: 4,324,455
  • Canadian citizens: 3,975,530
  • Canadian citizens aged under 18: 794,250
  • Canadian citizens aged 18 and over: 3,181,280
  • Not Canadian citizens: 348,925

— National Household Survey

slazaruk@theprovince.com
twitter.com/susanlazaruk


Tags: , , , , , , ,





Featured

1INDIA_MODI_218232180

Once shunned by U.S., India’s Modi rides wave of enthusiasm to White House for visit with Obama

JOSH LEDERMAN and DARLENE SUPERVILLE  THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — Once shunned by the United States, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is riding a wave…
Continue Reading »

1PNG_0929N_CITY_INQUEST_218232808

Mexican woman sneaked into Canada through bushes, border officer tells coroner’s inquest

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI A Mexican woman who committed suicide in custody awaiting deportation had sneaked into Canada through the bushes in Surrey, a coroner’s…
Continue Reading »

1WEATHER_EXTREMES_218229168

Some of 2013′s weirdest weather had the fingerprints of man-made climate change, studies show (w/ photos)

SETH BORENSTEIN THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — Scientists looking at 16 cases of wild weather around the world last year see the fingerprints of man-made…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

White House: ‘We support the aspirations’ of Hong Kong democracy protesters

By Alexander Panetta THE CANADIAN PRESS WASHINGTON — Foreign governments expressed support Monday for historic protests in Hong Kong despite a pointed warning from the…
Continue Reading »

1PNG_0929N_CITY_INQUEST_218232808

Mexican woman sneaked into Canada through bushes, border officer tells coroner’s inquest

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI A Mexican woman who committed suicide in custody awaiting deportation had sneaked into Canada through the bushes in Surrey, a coroner’s…
Continue Reading »

maple main

Remembering Maple Batalia: Surrey vigil marks three-year anniversary of SFU student’s slaying

CHERYL CHAN VANCOUVER DESI Three years after the murder of Maple Batalia, friends and family once again lit candles at Holland Park in honour of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

British comedian John Oliver takes aim at Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's U.S. visit on his HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. YouTube/Screengrab.

British comedian John Oliver again covers Indian politics in HBO show, takes aim at Modi’s U.S. visit (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI British comedian John Oliver has covered Indian politics yet again on his new HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. In this…
Continue Reading »

shah-rukh-khan-bn6a4756

Review: Was Shah Rukh Khan’s SLAM! The Tour worth the 3 hour delay in Vancouver?

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI After a nearly three-hour delay, Bollywood finally took over Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum Saturday night with a lavish evening of song, dance,…
Continue Reading »

Barbie

Religious groups angry over Barbie as Hindu goddess Kali, Virgin Mary (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Two artists from Argentina have given the legendary Barbie and Ken dolls forms of various religious figurines from Jesus and Mary to Hindu…
Continue Reading »

treatment

Villagers bury woman to cure her after getting ‘shocked’

CEN AGENCY Villagers in India sprung into action after one of their neighbours was suffered a high voltage electric shock – by burying her up…
Continue Reading »

Wedding dress

Gallery: Asian bride hopes to set record with world’s longest wedding dress train

CEN AGENCY A bride is claiming a new world record after commissioning the world’s biggest ever wedding dress for her big day – with an…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Sushmita Sen (L) and Hrithik Roshan (R) will be featured int he upcoming Mytra Fashion Weekend in Mumbai. Getty Images.

Sushmita Sen, Hrithik Roshan to glam up Mumbai’s Myntra Fashion Weekend

IANS Mumbai  – Former beauty queen and actress Sushmita Sen is set to scorch the ramp as showstopper on the opening day of fashion, beauty…
Continue Reading »

Tommy Hilfiger (L) says he is a fan of Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor (R). Getty Images.

Tommy Hilfiger fond of Bollywood films, favours Sonam Kapoor

IANS New Delhi  – American designer Tommy Hilfiger loves to watch Bollywood movies and appreciates the growing fashion quotient in Hindi movies and his favourite…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan’s #BangBangDare to Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar and Sonam Kapoor

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan has taken a unique approach to promote his upcoming film Bang Bang — a #BangBangDare to his friends in…
Continue Reading »