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Immigration, Ethno-Cultural Diversity, and Language

Statistics Canada 2016 Census data show London’s unique ethno-cultural diversity. Immigrants make up 22 percent of London’s population, less than Ontario (29%).  Almost 14% (11,595) of London’s immigrants arrived recently between 2011 and 2016.

Compared to Ontario, London has fewer immigrants, and more non- immigrants and non-permanent residents. The top places of birth of recent immigrants are Syria, India, and China.


In 2016 over 140 different languages were listed as mother tongues in the City of London. 20.6% of Londoners (78,325) had a mother tongue other than English or French which was lower than Ontario (26.7%) and Canada (21.1%).  London is similar to Ontario and Canada with Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese, Italian, German and Cantonese languages all appearing in the top ten non-official languages.

In 2016, Arabic replaced Spanish as the non-official language with the highest number of speakers in London and Chinese languages experienced the highest absolute growth (2,900) growth rate (53.5%) between 2011 and 2016.

Visible Minority

The visible minority population percentage increase (2006 to 2016) in London was almost similar to Ontario and Canada; noting that London’s increase between 2011 and 2016 was slightly higher than Ontario’s and Canada’s. The top three visible minority groups were Arab (18%), South Asian (16%), and Black (15%).

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