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Indian Population in Canada

India has the largest diaspora in the world and according to the Ministry of External Affairs, there are 3.2 Crores or 32 million Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) residing outside India.

As per the Ministry of External Affairs report (2018), there are 1,689,055 (16.89 Lakh) Indians residing in Canada. 

  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) – 1,510,645 (15.10 Lakh)
  • Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in Canada – 178,410 (1.78 Lakh) 

According to Statistics Canada 2021, The total Indian Population in Canada is 1,858,755 (1.85 million) or 5.1% of the Canadian population. Among Indian immigrants, 21.4% immigrated to Canada recently (from 2016 to 2021) and 43.4% immigrated from 2001 to 2015. Lastly, 35.2% of Indians were admitted into Canada before the 2000s.

read about the Population of Overseas Indians

According to the Canadian Census of 2021, 2.5 million South Asians reside in Canada, comprising 7.1% of the total Canadian population. Indians are the largest group within the South Asian community, with a population of 1.85 million, making up 5.1% of the Canadian population, as reported by Statistics Canada in 2021.

As of 2024, the estimated population of Indians in Canada is 1.9 million or 19 Lakhs, which accounts for approximately 5.2% of the total Canadian population.

In addition, according to data released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as of the end of 2022, around 226,450 Indian students were holding valid study permits which is another record-breaking high. The annual Report on Immigration 2022, says that 127,933 people from India were admitted as Permanent Residents* in 2021, the highest of any country.

According to the Statistics Canada 2021 report, Indians account for 18.6% of the total number of people who immigrated to Canada between 2016 and 2021, numbering over 2.46 lakh Indians who immigrated to Canada during this period.

*Source: IRCC, Permanent Residents Data as of March 31, 2022.

Population by Indian Regions / Cultural Origins

Statistics Canada conducts a census of the resident population based on ethnic or cultural origins. In addition to nationality, individuals in Canada also define themselves in terms of various regions, cultures, or linguistic backgrounds within India. 

Let’s examine the Canadian population of Indian descent categorized by their diverse cultural origins or affiliations.

Regions/Cultural OriginsResponses % of Canada Pop.
Indian (India)1,347,7153.71%
Punjabi279,9500.77%
Tamil102,1700.28%
Gujarati36,9700.10%
Bengali26,6750.07%
Jatt22,7850.06%
Malayali12,4900.03%
Goan9,7000.03%
Telugu6,6700.02%
Kashmiri6,1650.02%
Maharashtrian4,1200.01%
Anglo-Indian3,3350.01%
Total Indians 1,858,7655.12%

Source: Canada Census 2021

Indian population in the Canadian Provinces

The Province of Ontario has emerged as the most popular among Indians, with more than 55% of the Indian immigrant population finding a home there. Toronto, Ottawa, Waterloo, and Brampton are cities in Ontario with good Indian populations.

The province of British Columbia hosts a sizable Indian population. Nearly 22% of Indians are spread across Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, and others. As many as 10% of Indian immigrants live in Alberta province. Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan have significant Indian populations.

Let’s look at the Indian population in the Canadian Provinces

#ProvincePopulation 2021% of Province Pop.
1Alberta210,4305.04%
2British Columbia388,9257.91%
3Manitoba56,5554.33%
4New Brunswick 6,8550.90%
5Newfoundland and Labrador3,5400.71%
6Northwest Territories 6051.50%
7Nova Scotia 17,5551.84%
8Nunavut 1350.37%
9Ontario 1,052,0357.50%
10Prince Edward Island 2,8651.90%
11Quebec 90,2351.09%
12Saskatchewan 28,0552.54%
13Yukon 9052.29%
 Canada 1,858,7555.12%

Canadian Cities with large Indian population

Toronto has the largest Indian Canadian population in Canada. According to the 2021 Census, about 40% of the entire Indian Canadian community resides in the Greater Toronto Area. Vancouver is home to the second-largest Indian Canadian population in Canada, with just over 16% of the entire Indian Canadian community residing in the Lower Mainland. They are followed by Calgary and Edmonton City both lie in the western Canadian province of Alberta. 

Let’s look at the top 20 Cities with the Indian population

#City (Metro Area)ProvincePopulation 2021% of the City Population
1Toronto Ontario812,83013.23%
2Vancouver British Columbia300,19511.51%
3Calgary Alberta105,6907.21%
4Edmonton Alberta90,6606.49%
5MontrealQuebec82,5301.96%
6Winnipeg Manitoba50,5356.16%
7Ottawa – Gatineau Ontario/Quebec43,9303.00%
8Abbotsford – Mission British Columbia42,86022.31%
9Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo Ontario40,1107.06%
10Hamilton Ontario34,2254.43%
11Oshawa Ontario24,2605.90%
12London Ontario20,0003.73%
13Halifax N.S13,5152.93%
14Windsor Ontario13,3103.20%
15Regina Sask13,0355.32%
16Victoria British Columbia11,3952.93%
17Saskatoon Sask10,3953.34%
18St. Catharines – Niagara Ontario9,5552.25%
19Guelph Ontario7,7804.76%
20Kelowna British Columbia6,3052.89%

Source: Canada Census 2021

Religion of Indian population in Canada

Indian Canadians have diverse religious backgrounds and are represented mainly by  Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. Hindus now make up 2.3% of the population, up from 1.45% in 2011 and 0.96% in 2001. The Sikh population now stands at 2.1%, up from 1.38% in 2011 and 0.94% in 2001.

The religion of the Indian population in Canada is as follows

  • Sikhs – 40% 
  • Hindus – 38% 
  • Muslims – 7%
  • Christians -10% 
  • Others ( Buddhist, Jain) – 5%

read in detail about the Religion of the Indian Population in Canada

Indian Population in Canada 2024 | Canada Indian Population