|Immigrants at 70-year high in Canada: 3.4% from Lanka
OTTAWA, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Immigration-friendly Canada has a higher proportion of foreign-born residents now than at any time in the past 70 years, and they are more likely to have come from Asia than from Europe.
Census data from 2001 released on Tuesday showed 5.4 million people, or 18.4 percent of the population including citizens and immigrants but not temporary residents were born outside the country, up from 17.4 percent in 1996.
It was the highest level since the 22 percent registered in 1931, following a surge of immigration to settle the western provinces.
"An ethnocultural profile of Canada at the outset of the 21st century shows a nation that has become increasingly multiethnic and multicultural," Statistics Canada said in releasing the data.
By contrast, the 2000 U.S. census showed 11 percent of the population was foreign-born.
The Canadian census showed a heavy shift to Asia from Europe as a source of immigrants in the last 30 to 40 years.
Some 90.5 percent of those who immigrated before 1961 came from Europe, and only 3.2 percent from Asia. In the last decade, 19.5 percent were from from Europe and 58.2 percent from Asia.
China was the greatest source of immigrants in the past decade, at 10.8 percent, followed by India, 8.5 percent; Philippines, 6.7 percent; Hong Kong, 6.5 percent; Sri Lanka, 3.4 percent; Pakistan, 3.2 percent; Taiwan, 2.9 percent; United States, 2.8 percent; Iran, 2.6 percent; Poland, 2.4 percent.
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