The Somali population in Canada has experienced a consistent increase over the past few decades as more and more Somalis seek a better life in this beautiful country. Explore the flourishing community and its opportunities, witnessing the steady rise of opportunity and a strong sense of community. The 2021 census numbers show that the Somali community is one of the fastest-growing communities in Canada, with a significant presence in provinces such as Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba. As of 2021, the Somali population in Canada stands at 65,555 individuals. In this article, we will look at the Somali community in Canada and explore the 2021 census numbers in greater detail.
Somali Population in Canada (2021 Census)
The History of Somali People in Canada
The journey of Somalis to Canada started in the late 1970s after the 1976 removal of discriminatory clauses in Canadian immigration laws. Edward Opoku-Dapaah, a sociologist and educator, revealed that the influx of Somali refugees to Canada gained momentum from 1980 to 1990 when Somalia fell under Siad Barre’s military rule. Since Toronto was the destination of choice for refugees, most of the first arrivals settled there while awaiting the processing of their papers.
Somali refugees still come to Canada, and the number grows every year. Despite the deportations of many Somalis, the Somali community remains one of the fastest-growing in the country.
Somalis in British Columbia
British Columbia is one of the provinces where The growing-Somali community lives, but not in large numbers due to the lack of settlement support they receive. Many people who settle in British Columbia move within their first two to three years after facing many challenges, especially with housing and schooling. As a result, the number of Somalis in British Columbia is relatively tiny compared to other provinces. According to the 2021 census, there are only 2,665 Somalis in this province, most of whom live in Vancouver.
Somali Population in British Columbia (2021 Census)
It’s worth mentioning that British Columbia is one of the Canadian provinces without an operating Somali community office. This lack of community support may be why many Somalis choose to settle in other provinces where they can find more help and assistance.
Somalis in Ontario
The growing-Somali community in Ontario has grown significantly over the years, with Toronto and Ottawa being the first places Somali people settle when arriving in Canada. According to the 2021 census, Ontario is home to one of Canada’s largest Somali communities, with 41,640 Somalis residing in the province. Of this population, 22,070 are women, and 19,575 are men. The Somali community in Ontario has made significant contributions to Canadian society, including establishing successful businesses and organizations.
Somali Population in Ontario (2021 Census)
Toronto has the largest Somali community in Canada, with 19,810 residents identifying as Somali, according to the 2021 census. The community is concentrated in north metropolitan Toronto, with half of the population living in Etobicoke. Other areas with significant Somali people include North York, Malton, York, and Scarborough. Many Somalis in Toronto live in rented accommodations, particularly high-rise apartments, with the choice of settlement area influenced by the desire to be closer to fellow Somalis.
Despite facing challenges, such as navigating the Canadian immigration system and establishing themselves in a new country, the Somali community in Toronto has created successful businesses, schools, and organizations. The Somali-Canadian Association of Etobicoke is one such organization that has been helping Somalis integrate into Canadian society since its establishment.
Somalis in Alberta
Edmonton was the first destination for Somali refugees in Canada after Toronto and Ottawa. According to the Canada 2021 census, there are 16,310 Somali people in Alberta, with 8,160 of them being men and 8,150 being women. The majority of the Somali community in Alberta is concentrated in Edmonton, with 11,615 people living there.
Somali Population in Alberta (2021 Census)
According to the 2021 census, Calgary is home to 2,830 Somalis, making it the second-largest Somali community residence in Alberta after Edmonton.
Aside from Edmonton and Calgary, the census also shows that Brooks, Alberta, has a significant Somali population, with nearly 1,000 community members.
Alberta’s Somali community has established several businesses and organizations, particularly in Edmonton. The Somali Canadian Education & Rural Development Organisation (SCERDO) and the Somali Canadian Cultural Society of Edmonton are just two examples of such organizations. They provide various services to the Somali community, such as language classes, cultural events, and employment support, helping Somali immigrants integrate into Canadian society.
Meanwhile, Calgary also has a thriving Somali community, with a great organization called the Somali Canadian Society of Calgary. This organization serves the Somali community in Calgary by providing various services and programs, including language classes, mentorship programs, and community events. These organizations play a vital role in supporting the integration and success of the Alberta Somali community, helping foster a sense of community and belonging among its members.
It is important to note that the data presented in this article regarding the growing Somali community in Canada is derived from the 2021 census and can be located in the Ethnic or Cultural Origin section of each city or province. The figures presented in this article were obtained by taking screenshots of the census data.
Mohammed Adan founded If Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in videography and search engine optimization. With a passion for storytelling and visual communication, he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication from Medicine Hat College in Alberta, Canada. His previous experience as a journalist in Somalia enabled him to develop a deep understanding of the power of storytelling to connect with audiences. Combining his journalistic background with technical videography and digital marketing expertise, he brings a unique perspective to his work.