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

teen music video

Vancouver teen’s music video gets over 300k views in less than a week

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver teen and aspiring musician Sid Bhullar has released his third music video online  – and within one week he’s already surpassed 300,000…
Continue Reading »

Unruly passenger tied to his seat

Air India passenger tied to his seat on flight after going wild and attacking people onboard

VANCOUVER DESI An Air India passenger, who went wild after a few drinks and allegedly tore the clothes of two pursers and bit some fellow…
Continue Reading »

common krait

Man bites, kills poisonous snake slithering towards him in bed

VANCOUVER DESI In a shocking incident, an Indian man bit and killed a venomous snake in his bed, according to the Daily Telegraph. Rai Singh, from…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

teen music video

Vancouver teen’s music video gets over 300k views in less than a week

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver teen and aspiring musician Sid Bhullar has released his third music video online  – and within one week he’s already surpassed 300,000…
Continue Reading »

Best polio vaccine? Oral and injectable, used in tandem, new study says

By Helen Branswell THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — For decades scientists have debated whether injectable or oral polio vaccine is the best option for trying…
Continue Reading »

BRITISH COLUMBIA

B.C.’s top Mountie says RCMP budget cuts won’t slow fight against gangs

VANCOUVER DESI The province’s top Mountie maintains budget cuts to the B.C. RCMP will not affect the force’s commitment to taking down gangs, though two…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Const. Ian MacDonald says: ‘You don’t want to see anybody carted away in an ambulance over this, and that is a very real possibility. Ric Ernst/PNG

‘It’s pride getting in the way’: Feuding Indo-Canadian youth factions worry Abbotsford cops (w/ video)

JENNIFER SALTMAN  VANCOUVER DESI  No one really knows how the conflict started. According to a number of people who are involved, in February one person…
Continue Reading »

Stone-health-Kaleem

Eight-year-old Indian boy’s swollen hands are larger than his head

VANCOUVER DESI Kaleem, an eight-year-old Indian boy suffering from a mystery condition has puzzled doctors after his hands swelled to giant proportions and are larger…
Continue Reading »

India-surgery

Doctors remove unborn child’s skeleton from woman’s womb after 36 years

VANCOUVER DESI In an unusual surgery, doctors in India removed the skeleton of an unborn baby from its mother’s womb after 36 years, the Press…
Continue Reading »

Sikh-Ontario

Turbaned Sikhs will not be allowed to ride motorbike without a helmet in Ontario

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she won’t allow for turban-wearing Sikhs to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. In…
Continue Reading »

Annu Gaidhu

Mississauga beauty Annu Gaidhu crowned Miss India Canada (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI Mississauga’s Annu Gaidhu was crowned Miss India-Canada at the 24th annual pageant in Toronto Saturday evening. The 23-year-old yoga instructor and aspiring child…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

desi boobs-actress-celebrity

Bollywood actress from Britain still finds time to help her parents at their corner shop (w/gallery)

VANCOUVER DESI British actress Geeta Basra, who made a name for herself in Bollywood with three major films, still helps her parents at their local…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood stunt man

Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar takes up the ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar took on the ALS ice bucket challenge in true stuntman style – with 11 buckets of ice water….
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Aamir Khan dropped pants for ‘PK’, wonders would Salman Khan follow suit?

IANS Mumbai – It seems Aamir Khan is in the mood to rag his friend and colleague Salman Khan! The former dropped his pants for…
Continue Reading »