Philippines now Saskatchewan's top source of immigrants

CBC News May 8, 2013 - Saskatchewan's immigrant surge is being reflected in the latest data from the federal census — with a big wave of people from the Philippines accounting for much of it. According to the latest set of 2011 data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday, there are 68,780 Saskatchewan residents who were born in other countries, compared to 48,160 in 2006 when the previous survey was taken.

In other words, more than 39 per cent of Saskatchewan's immigrants arrived between 2006 to 2011.

Thanks to the surge, 6.8 per cent of Saskatchewan's population is foreign-born, compared to 5.5 per cent in 2006.

Immigrants still represent a smaller proportion of the population in Saskatchewan compared to the rest of Canada (20.6 per cent), but it's a big jump compared with previous censuses.

The rise of Saskatchewan's Filipino population arguably represents the most dramatic change in the report.

In 2006, people from the Philippines accounted for 2,455 of Saskatchewan's visible minority immigrants.

In 2011, the figure had jumped to 12,775 — a 420 per cent increase.

For the first time ever, the Philippines have become Saskatchewan's most important source of newcomers, replacing the United Kingdom (7,370).

Tagalog, spoken in the Philippines, has become the most common non-official language spoken by immigrants at home.

In recent years, the provincial government has been involved in recruiting skilled workers from the Philippines, particularly in the health care field.

Meanwhile, Saskatchewan's aboriginal population to continues to grow and now accounts for 15.6 per cent of the total.

That compares with about 14.8 per cent of the population in 2006.

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