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  • Writer's pictureKarim Mohamed

State of Muslims population in Canada - How Many Muslims in Canada? Understanding the Size and Impact of the Canada Muslim Population

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

The religious and demographic landscape of Canada is undergoing a transformative shift. This report explores the presence and growth of Muslim communities across the country, showcasing their increasing influence and contribution to Canada's evolving cultural, religious, and economic tapestry.

This report aims to provide comprehensive insights into the multifaceted aspects of Muslim communities in Canada, showcasing their growth and contributions in the realms of faith, culture, and commerce within the country.


State of Muslims in Canada
State of Muslims in Canada

 

#1: Evolution of Muslims in Canada - A decade of change (2011-2021)


In the span of a decade, Canada has witnessed significant shifts in its religious

landscape, reflecting the country's ongoing cultural and demographic evolution.

The 2021 Census data reveals a nuanced portrayal of religious diversity in the

nation, with both continuity and transformation. So, how many Muslims in Canada and what's the size of the Canada Muslims population?


Population distribution by religion in Canada
Population distribution by religion in Canada

Christianity's Decline: Christianity, which has historically been the dominant religion in Canada, has seen a notable decline in its adherents. In 2011, the Christian population stood at 22,102,745, but by 2021, it decreased to 19,373,330. This trend is indicative of a broader global shift away from traditional religious affiliations.


Rise of the Muslim Population: The Muslim population has grown significantly, reaching 1,775,715 in 2021, up from 1,053,945 in 2011, indicating a substantial 68.6% increase. This growth reflects a dynamic and diverse Muslim community in Canada representing now approx. 5% of Canada’s population.


Growth in Hindu and Sikh Populations: The Hindu and Sikh communities have experienced remarkable growth over the decade. The Hindu population surged from 497,965 in 2011 to 828,195 in 2021, demonstrating a 66.3% increase. Similarly, the Sikh community expanded from 454,960 in 2011 to 771,790 in 2021, marking a 69.5% growth. This growth can be attributed to immigration patterns and natural population increase.


No religion: One of the most significant changes in religious demographics is the rise of the "No religion" category. In 2011, this group counted 7,850,610 members, but by 2021, it swelled to 12,577,475, demonstrating a 60.5% increase. This shift reflects a growing segment of the population identifying as non-religious


#2: Muslims & Immigration in Canada


The Muslim population in Canada is predominantly fueled by immigration, with a substantial 70% of Canadian Muslims being immigrants. 


Muslims distribution by immigration status
Muslims distribution by immigration status

Out of the total 8,361,505 immigrants in Canada, the Muslim community accounts for 1,120,765 individuals, reflecting a substantial representation of approximately 13.4% among immigrants.


Count of immigrants in Canada by religion
Count of immigrants in Canada by religion

An impressive 61% of Muslims immigrants arrived in the country between 1980 and 2021. This period marks a significant era in the growth of the Muslim community in Canada, showcasing the nation's appeal as a welcoming and inclusive destination for individuals from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds.


Between 1980 and 2021, the Muslim immigrant community in Canada achieved remarkable growth, with their numbers increasing by a staggering 738%. This growth rate surpasses that of other immigrant groups, underscoring the dynamic evolution of the Muslim population and their significant contribution to the multicultural fabric of Canada.


#3: Repartition of Muslims across provinces in Canada


The data shows a diverse distribution of Muslims across various provinces / Territories, with the largest communities being in Ontario and Quebec.


77% of Canada Muslims are in Ontario and Quebec
77% of Canada Muslims are in Ontario and Quebec

The province with the highest percentage of Muslims is Ontario, with a Muslim population representing approximately 7% of its total population. Quebec is the next highest, with Muslims making up about 5%.


Provinces in Western Canada, including Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta, have Muslim populations of approximately 3%, with Alberta being the largest in terms of the number of Muslims.


The northern territories, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, have very small Muslim populations, each with less than 1% of their total population being Muslim.


#4: Demographics of Muslims in Canada


Gender, Age and Ethnicity of Muslims in Canada



Gender representation among Muslims in Canada

Balanced gender representation among Muslims, with nearly equal percentages of men and women

Muslims distribution per age Canada

68% of the Muslims population are in the working age category. The community spans a wide range of age groups, with significant numbers of youth, working-age adults, and seniors


Muslims visible minority ethnicity composition in Canada

The two major visible minority groups within the Muslim population are South Asian and Arab, with significant increases in both categories. 62% of Muslims in Canada are South Asian and Arab.


#5: Halal market in Canada


The Canadian halal market is valued at around $1 billion and is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2023, driven by factors such as population growth, rising disposable incomes, and increasing globalization. 


Canadian halal food market estimation
Canadian halal food market estimation

While halal food remains the largest segment of the Muslim consumer market, it's essential to recognize the growing diversity of sectors and opportunities. 


Muslim halal market in Canada: halal food, modest fashion, Muslim friendly travel
Muslim halal market in Canada: halal food, modest fashion, Muslim friendly travel

#6: Summary


Religious Landscape: Christianity, historically dominant, has declined, while the Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh populations have seen remarkable growth, reflecting global trends of changing religious affiliations.


Immigration Dynamics: The Muslim community constitutes approximately 13.4% of Canada's immigrant population, with a 738% growth between 1980 and 2021, making significant contributions to Canada's multicultural fabric.


Geographic Distribution: Around 77% of Canada's Muslim population resides in Ontario and Quebec, while Western provinces also exhibit Muslim communities.


Demographics: The Muslim community in Canada displays balanced gender representation and a diverse age range, with a significant working-age population.


Halal Market: The Canadian halal market is valued at around $1 billion, with diversification beyond food, driven by population growth and globalization.


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