Ottawa Continues to Attract Immigrants


Newly released data from the 2016 Census shows that Ottawa continues to attract immigrants from around the world. In the last five years, over 30,000 immigrants have arrived in the capital region, adding to the rich diversity of the city.

Immigrants make up 23% of Ottawa’s population and hail from more than 160 countries around the globe. Ottawa’s immigrants represent a diverse and growing population who make a significant contribution to labour force growth and enrich the local culture and community


• Ottawa’s total population: 991,726.
• There are 219,705 immigrants in Ottawa who make up 23% of the city’s population.
• 53% of immigrants in Ottawa are female, 47% are male.
• 42% of recent immigrants were between the ages of 25 and 44 at their time of arrival.
• The top five places of birth for recent immigrants are Philippines (9%), China (9%), India (6%), Syria (6%), and Haiti (4%). Immigrants from these countries make up nearly 4% of all recent arrivals to Ottawa.
• 46% of recent immigrants are “economic” immigrants – mostly through skilled worker and business categories – with another 28% sponsored by family, 24% entering as refugees and 2% arriving under other categories.
• The most common non-official languages spoken in Ottawa include Arabic, Chinese languages, Spanish and Italian.
• Seven out of 10 recent immigrants in Ottawa are visible minorities.
• 19% of all immigrants in Ottawa are low-income. For recent immigrants, 40% are considered low-income.
• For visible minority immigrants the prevalence of low-income is 26%, compared to 11.3% of nonvisible minority immigrants.

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