DemographicsMain article: Demographics of Vancouver
The 2011 census recorded more than 603,000 people in the city, making it the eighth largest among Canadian cities. The metropolitan area, with more than 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country and the most populous in Western Canada. The larger Lower Mainland-Southwest economic region (which includes also Squamish, the Fraser Valley, and the Sunshine Coast) has a population of over 2.65 million. With 5,249 people per square kilometre (13,590 per sq mile), the City of Vancouver is the most densely populated of Canadian municipalities having more than 5,000 residents. Approximately 74 percent of the people living in Metro Vancouver live outside the city.
Vancouver has been called a "city of neighbourhoods", each with a distinct character and ethnic mix. People of English, Scottish, and Irish origins were historically the largest ethnic groups in the city, and elements of British and Irish society and culture are still visible in some areas, particularly South Granville and Kerrisdale. Germans are the next-largest European ethnic group in Vancouver and were a leading force in the city's society and economy until the rise of anti-German sentiment with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Today the Chinese are the largest visible ethnic group in the city, with a diverse Chinese-speaking community, and several languages, including Cantonese and Mandarin. Neighbourhoods with distinct ethnic commercial areas include the Chinatown, Punjabi Market, Little Italy, Greektown, and (formerly) Japantown.
Since the 1980s, immigration has dramatically increased, making the city more ethnically and linguistically diverse; 52% do not speak English as their first language. Almost 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage. In the 1980s, an influx of immigrants from Hong Kong in anticipation of the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China, combined with an increase in immigrants from mainland China and previous immigrants from Taiwan, established in Vancouver one of the highest concentrations of ethnic Chinese residents in North America. This arrival of Asian immigrants continued a tradition of immigration from around the world that had established Vancouver as the second-most popular destination for immigrants in Canada after Toronto. Other significant Asian ethnic groups in Vancouver are South Asian (mostly Punjabi) usually referred to as Indo-Canadian (5.7%), Filipino (5.0%), Japanese (1.7%), Korean (1.5%), as well as sizable communities of Vietnamese, Indonesians, and Cambodians. Despite increases in Latin American immigration to Vancouver in the 1980s and 90s, recent immigration has been comparatively low, and African immigration has been similarly stagnant (3.6% and 3.3% of total immigrant population, respectively). The black population of Vancouver is rather scant in comparison to other Canadian major cities, making up 0.9% of the city. The neighbourhood of Strathcona, particularly Hogan's Alley, was once home to a significant black community. In 1981, less than 7% of the population belonged to a visible minority group. By 2008, this proportion had grown to 51%.
Prior to the Hong Kong diaspora of the 1990s, the largest non-British ethnic groups in the city were Irish and German, followed by Scandinavian, Italian, Ukrainian and Chinese. From the mid 1950s until the 1980s, many Portuguese immigrants came to Vancouver and the city had the third-largest Portuguese population in Canada in 2001. Eastern Europeans, including Yugoslavs, Russians, Czechs, Poles, Romanians and Hungarians began immigrating after the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe after World War II. Greek immigration increased in the late 1960s and early 70s, with most settling in the Kitsilano area. Vancouver also has a significant aboriginal community of about 11,000 people.
Vancouver has a large gay community focused on the West End neighbourhood lining a certain stretch of Davie Street, recently officially designated as Davie Village, though the gay community is omnipresent throughout West End and Yaletown areas. Vancouver is host to one of the country's largest annual gay pride parades. British Columbia was the second Canadian jurisdiction (after Ontario) to legalize same-sex marriage.
|Canada 2006 Census||Population||% of Total Population|
|Visible minority group
|Other visible minority||990||0.2|
|Mixed visible minority||7,320||1.3|
|Total visible minority population||291,740||51|
|Total Aboriginal population||11,140||1.9|
The largest religious group in the City of Vancouver is those with no religious affiliation, as is the case for the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area, and for BC as a whole. Compared to the rest of Canada, the city of Vancouver has a lesser percentage of Catholics and Protestants, and almost seven times the percentage affiliated with Buddhism.
|City of Vancouver||Vancouver (CMA)||British Columbia||Canada|
|No religious affiliation||227,925||42.2%||692,765||35.2%||1,388,300||35.9%||4,900,090||16.5%|
|Source:Canada 2001 Census|
Includes Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Polish National Catholic Church, Old Catholic
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