Diversity in Halton-Peel: A Community Profile

With a rapidly growing immigrant and visible minority population, Halton-Peel is rivalling Toronto's cultural diversity

south asian girls jpgHalton-Peel, to the west of Toronto, has experienced tremendous growth in the five years between 2001 and 2006.  Not only has the total number of people increased rapidly, Halton-Peel has experienced explosive growth in the diversity of its population.

The pace and scope of increasing diversity in Halton-Peel have surpassed those of nearly any other community in Ontario. Between 2001 and 2006, the immigrant community here increased by 31.7% to about 669,200 people—two and a half times the increase for the province as a whole. Visible minority groups are also growing very fast—increasing by more than half in five years to a total of 634,000 people or 50% of the population.

More than one in five of Ontario's most recent immigrants settled in Halton-Peel, and fully half come from Southern Asia. South Asians also comprise half of all visible minorities in Halton-Peel and Panjabi is the most prevalent non-official mother tongue amongst immigrants and visible minorities in Halton-Peel.

The increase in diversity is most evident in Peel. If current trends continue into the future, Peel will actually overtake Toronto as having the largest proportion of immigrants within its total population. And with an already higher proportion of residents belonging to a visible minority, Peel would then be able to lay claim to being the most diverse region in the province.

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Community Highlights

  • Almost all visible minorities within Halton-Peel live in Peel. The visible minority community in Peel is proportionally the largest in Ontario and the majority of youth in Peel are members of a visible minority group.
  • Immigrants, especially recent immigrants, and visible minority groups are better educated compared to the general Halton-Peel population. Greater proportions have completed university compared to the population as a whole.
  • Recent immigrants have the highest level of educational attainment amongst all community groups—two-thirds of working-age newcomers have a university degree.
  • Despite having more education, recent immigrants face both employment and income challenges, facing lower employment rates, more part-time and less full-time work and greater difficulty finding work in their chosen fields.