Canada's most recent Census was taken in 2011, which recorded 603,502 residents of Vancouver. From 2006 to 2011, the City experienced 4.4% growth, which was a bit under Canada's overall growth at 5.9%. The Greater Vancouver area has a population of more than 2.4 million, which makes it the third most populous metro area in Canada and the most populous in Western Canada.
Vancouver Population Density
74% of people in the Metropolitan Vancouver area live outside the city proper.
The 2011 Census found the racial and ethnic makeup of Vancouver was:
- European Canadian: 46.2%
- Chinese: 27.7%
- South Asian: 6%
- Filipino: 6%
- Southeast Asian: 3%
- Japanese: 1.7%
- Latin American: 1.6%
- Mixed visible minority: 1.5%
- Korean: 1.5%
- Aboriginal: 2% (1.3% First Nations, 0.6% Metis)
- West Asian: 1.2%
- Black: 1%
- Arab: 0.5%
Vancouver is often called a "city of neighborhoods" because it has several neighborhoods with distinct ethnic mixes. Those of English, Irish and Scottish origins were historically the largest ethnic group in Vancouver, and this is still visible in areas like Kerrisdale and South Granville. Germans are the second-largest European group, followed by the Chinese, who are the largest visible ethnic group. Ethnic neighborhoods in Vancouver include Chinatown, Little Italy, Greektown and Punjabi Market.
Immigration into Vancouver
Immigration into Vancouver has increased since the 1980s and transformed the city into one of great ethnic diversity. More than half of the population speaks a language other than English as their first language. Vancouver now has one of the highest concentrations of ethnic Chinese people in North America, as many came from Hong Kong in anticipation of sovereignty transfer to China. Other major Asian groups in Vancouver are South Asian (primarily Punjabi), with large groups of Indo-Canadian (5.7%), Filipino (5.0%), Japanese (1.7%), Korean (1.5%), Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Cambodian.
Immigration from Latin America, once stronger in the 1980s and 1990s, has slowed in recent years, while immigration from Africa has also become stagnant. The black population of Vancouver is just 1%, much smaller than other large cities in Canada.
Prior to the immigration wave from Hong Kong in the 90s, the largest non-British groups in Vancouver were Irish and German, followed by Italian, Scandinavian, Chinese and Ukranian. After the Soviet Union began taking over Eastern Europe, many Eastern Europeans immigrated to the city, including Russians, Czechs, Poles, Romanians, and Yugoslavs, followed by a wave of Greek immigration in the 1960s through the 70s.
There is also also a sizable population of aboriginal people in Vancouver numbering about 11,000, as well as a large gay community in the West End neighborhood.
Vancouver Population Growth
Vancouver is expected to continue it's growth according to projections from Vancouver Metro. The Metro estimates that the city of Vancouver will grow to 765,000 by 2041. They also project that the Vancouver metro area will near 3.5 million by 2041.