TORONTO: Hindus comprise 1.5 per cent, Sikhs 1.4 per cent and Muslims 3.2 per cent of Canada’s population of around 35 million, according to the 2011 National Household Survey conducted by Statistics Canada.
Of the immigrants who arrived to this country between 2001 and 2011 Hindus, Muslims Sikhs and Buddhists account for 33 per cent, the new data released on Wednesday revealed, which is changing the religious makeup of this North American country.
Over 22.1 million people identified themselves as belonging to a Christian group, Roman Catholics accounting for 12.7 million and United Church two million.
The Muslim population is growing at the fastest rate in the country, even exceeding people who say they follow no religion.
17.4 per cent of the immigrants who arrived between 2001 and 2011 were Muslims. Hindus comprised 6.6 per cent, Sikhs 4.8 per cent, Buddhists 2.8 per cent, Jews 0.9 per cent and Christians 47.5 percent in the same period.
“We have been experiencing this kind of steady increase for a while,” the Calgary Herald quoted Amin Elshorbagy, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, as saying.
“We can see this in terms of the need to expand our infrastructure. Most of our Islamic centres are becoming very crowded.”
South Asians, Chinese and blacks formed 61.3 per cent of the minority population.
They were followed by Filipinos, Latin Americans, Arabs, southeast Asians, west Asians, Koreans and Japanese.
However, the survey, which replaced the long-form census that was cancelled in 2010, warned that the data may not be completely accurate, given its voluntary nature.