Canada's indigenous population grew by 42.5 per cent to 1.6 million in the decade to 2016 when the last census was taken, the government statistical agency announced today. This amounts to 4.9 percent of Canada's population, and their numbers -- which include registered treaty Indians, Metis and Inuit -- are forecast to continue rising to more than 2.5 million by 2036, it said. The figures confirmed a trend previously reported that found aboriginal people are "young in age and growing in numbers," Statistics Canada said in a statement. The agency noted two main reasons for the jump: natural growth that includes increased life expectancy and relatively high fertility rate, and a higher number of people self- reporting as aboriginal. The data painted a portrait of indigenous culture that is richly diverse with more than 70 aboriginal languages spoken. It also showed that aboriginal children lived in a variety of family settings such as multi-generational homes where both parents and grandparents were present. Another Statistics Canada dataset released today, meanwhile, showed the proportion of the Canadian population that was born abroad had risen to 21.9 per cent, for a total of 7,540,830. The proportion is close to the 22.3 per cent recording the 1921 census, which was the "highest since confederation" in 1867, the agency said. This increasing share is due to a larger and larger number of immigrants admitted each year, along with relatively low fertility levels in Canada. For the first time, Africa ranked second ahead of Europe as a source of recent immigrants, from 2011 to 2016, Statistics Canada noted. Asia, including the Middle East, remained the top source. The top source countries in these two regions were Nigeria, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Cameroon, and the Philippines, India, China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria and South Korea, respectively.
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