As the number of people in Agassiz-Harrison increases, there are significant changes among the immigrant population of the community, according to recently released data from Statistics Canada based on the 2021 Census.
Harrison Hot Springs bucked the trend of rising immigrant population seen in B.C. and throughout Canada. Despite the population experiencing significant growth between 2016 and 2021, the village’s foreign-born immigrant population dropped a bit from 22.9 per cent to 18.5 per cent. Just over 80 per cent of people who lived in the village at the time of the most recent census were Canadian-born.
Statistics Canada measured immigrant population in three main categories: first generation (born abroad), second generation (born in Canada with at least one parent abroad) and third generation or more (born in Canada with both parents in Canada).
About 365 people living in the village (19.6 per cent) are first generation immigrants at the average age of 70. This is up slightly from 2016, when 330 people (22.9 per cent) identified as first generation.
350 people identified as second generation immigrants (18.8 per cent), up from 295 people (20.5 per cent). 1,140 out of 1,865 residents (61.3 per cent) identify as third generation-plus immigrants, up significantly from the 2016 census count of 810 people (56.3 per cent) with a median age of 51.2 (below the village average of 58.4 years).
Due to the proportionate increase third generation-plus immigrants, first and second generation immigrants made up a smaller percentage of the total population, despite the number of people increasing across all categories.
Meanwhile, the District of Kent saw a slight increase in foreign-born immigrants between 2016 and 2021; 25 immigrants came to the district between 2016 and 2021. According to the 2021 census, 895 within the district – 16 per cent of its overall population – were foreign-born immigrants. 83.2 per cent were Canadian-born and 45 people were non-permanent residents.
The District of Kent more closely followed provincial and national trends, seeing an increase among the immigrant population from 14.9 per cent to 16 per cent.
Most of the district’s immigrant population hails from the United Kingdom (175 people), followed closely by the Netherlands (130 people). Nine other countries are represented in the most recent data, including Germany, Switzerland, Vietnam and South Africa.
Birthplace data was not available for Harrison Hot Springs.
In the District of Kent, 970 people identified as first generation immigrants (17.4 per cent) in the 2021 survey, up from 835 (16 per cent) in the previous census; the average age of first generation immigrants in 2021 within the district is 63.6 years (61.6 in 2021). 1,330 people (23.8 per cent) identify as second generation immigrants, up from 1,285 (24.6 per cent) in 2016. Third generation-plus is, like Harrison Hot Springs, the largest demographic in the District of Kent, increasing from 3,090 people (59.3 per cent) in 2016 to 3, 280 people (58.7 per cent) in 2021.
Despite the district’s overall population getting slightly younger from 2016 to 2021, the average age of first and second generation immigrants increased slightly. Third generation-plus got slightly younger from 41.6 to 40.4. This is only a decrease of 1.2 years, but the size of the demographic is responsible for the younger average age for the overall population.
For more information, visit statcan.gc.ca.