Kitchener was identified as the most diverse city in Canada with a score of 8.33 out of 10, according to a 2023 study by US-based e-learning company Preply. The complete list indicated in the report is as follows:
“We live in an increasingly global world, and our analysis reveals that Canada is no exception to this, with growing immigration fostering greater diversity across the country,” the report stated.
“As the most diverse cities, Kitchener, Winkler, Guelph, Squamish, and London stood out as hubs for multiculturalism, but cities across the nation follow this same example.”
The study approached the concept of “diversity” through five lenses, in acknowledgment of Canada’s rich mix of individuals from across the world. These are:
- Immigrant residents: The percentage of the city’s population that are, or who have ever been, landed immigrants or permanent residents.
- Increase in immigration (2011-15 vs. 2016-21): The change in the size of the immigrant community from the 2011-15 period to the 2016-2021 period.
- In-migrant population: The percentage of the population that identifies as “in-migrants,” who are individuals who did not live in the specified city/province five years before the reference date, but did live there on the reference date (in this case, 2021).
- Non-official language as first language: The percentage of the population whose first language is recorded as one of Canada’s non-official languages (i.e., not French or English).
- Non-official language spoken at home: The percentage of the population who recorded speaking at least one non-official language at home.
Owing to the fact that the country is currently home to more than 8.6 million immigrants (a number which is only expected to grow further, considering Canada’s goal of welcoming close to 500,000 permanent residents each year from 2023 to 2025), these metrics are a good indication of where immigrants may want to consider moving to if they want to have a more multicultural experience while living in Canada.
Almost all of Canada’s population growth and labor market growth in the last few years can be traced to immigration, at nearly 98%. This trend is also visible in Kitchener, which led the rankings, and was referred to by the study as a “vibrant city with a history of welcoming immigrants with a significant wave of arrivals from German-speaking countries in the 20th century.” In fact, while the average across Canada was 18 percent, over 27% of Kitchener’s population was noted as speaking at least one non-official language.
The study further added that “the city is now home to a large number of ethnic and cultural groups.”
Slightly over half (11) of the top-ranking cities are in Ontario, six in BC, and two in Manitoba. Just one of them is located in Prince Edward Island.
When it comes to city size, only two of Canada’s 10 largest cities made the top 10 list. Canada’s largest city, Toronto, appeared in 19th place, despite having the highest proportion of immigrants and multiple non-official language speakers. Interestingly, in fact, the study found that Toronto was tied with Vancouver for being Canada’s most linguistically diverse city.
Toronto and Vancouver Are Canada’s Most Linguistically Diverse Cities
Canadians in general, as per its findings, speak over 200 languages between them. Here is the ranking for the cities that boast the most richness in terms of this metric:
“Despite the majority of the most diverse cities being located in Ontario, the most multicultural province overall is British Columbia,” notes the report.
“It is the most western of Canada’s provinces and is known for its beautiful landscapes and scenery but has now made a name for itself as a cultural and linguistic melting pot.”
Immigrants comprise 29 per cent of British Columbia’s population, far more than the percentage of immigrants in other Canadian provinces.
“What’s more, 28 per cent of British Columbia’s population speaks at least one language other than French or English at home, and three per cent of residents list a non-official language as their first language,” notes the study.
British Columbia is Canada’s Most Diverse Province
Enough said about cities – now what about provinces?
BC takes the cake for being Canada’s most diverse province, with a solid score of 8.00 out of 10. It is tailed by Ontario (score: 7.54) and Prince Edward Island (score: 6.31). Although Ontario does have more immigrant residents than BC (and a higher increase in immigration compared to BC), its in-migrant population and non-official first language scores fall short to the Western Canadian Province.