Korean Canadians

ethnic group
(Redirected from Korean Canadian)

Korean Canadians are Canadians of Korean descent. According to South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, there are 223,322 Koreans or people of Korean ancestry in Canada. This is the fourth-largest population of Koreans outside of Korea (after Koreans in Japan and ahead of Koreans in Russia).[1] Also, the government of South Korean guessed that there are more than 100,000 Koreans living in Canada illegally.[15][16]

Korean Canadians
한국계 캐나다인
韓國系 캐나다人
Gail KimYonah Martin
Sandra OhBryan Lee O'Malley
Notable Korean Canadians:
Gail KimYonah Martin
Sandra OhBryan Lee O'Malley
Total population
223,322 (2009 South Korean gov't figures)[1]
141,875 (2006 Canadian Census)
Regions with significant populations
 British Columbia50,490[3]
 Nova Scotia795[7]
 New Brunswick625[9]
 Prince Edward Island70[10]
 Newfoundland and Labrador60[11]
Korean, Canadian English and/or Canadian French
Protestantism (50%), Catholicism (25%), No affiliation (20%), Buddhism (4%)[13]
Related ethnic groups

Regional figures above based on Canadian census. South Korean government figures based on consular registrations. All South Korean citizens intending to reside overseas for more than 90 days are required by law to register with the South Korean consulate nearest their overseas residence. Failure to register can have negative consequences for taxes and real estate purchases, and overseas-born children who are not registered may have difficulty enrolling in South Korean schools.[14]



The first Koreans who came to Canada were Christians. They were sent by Canadian missionaries to study Christianity in Canada. Not many stayed in Canada though; and in 1965, the total Korean population of Canada was only about 70 people.[17] However, after 1966's change of Canadian immigration laws, South Korean immigration to Canada grew.[17] Between 1970 and 1980, 18,148 Koreans immigrated to Canada, and another 17,583 came in the 1990s.[18] In the late 1990s, South Korea became the fifth-largest source of immigrants to Canada.[19] Toronto has the most Koreans in Canada, but Vancouver has the highest growth rate of Koreans. They have increased 69% since 1996. Montreal has the third-most Korean immigrants at this time.[20] In 2001, More Koreans went to Canada than to the United States.[21] The number of temporary residents also grew after the Canadian government made visas not necessary; South Korea sent the most international students to Canada in the late 1990s.[22] Many of the Koreans who came to Canada, came from the Korean population in China.

In the 1990s, many Koreans came to Canada because unemployment was high and income growth was low. It was the opposite in the United States at this time.[23] They also came because the Canadian dollar was very weak, so they could get a lot of Canadian money from their Korean money. In the USA, they could get less American dollars. So they had more money if they came to Canada[24] Lastly, in Korea at the time there was lots of anti-American feelings, and also many local native teachers came from Canada, so Koreans knew Canadians very well. .[25]

Koreans Today


Many Koreans in Canada are well educated, and many new immigrants and their children are skilled workers such as—doctors, professors, engineers, computer technicians—or businessmen.

Korean Canadians are usually one of three types: first generation immigrants, the “1.5” generation who began their schooling in Korea but moved to Canada in their childhood or teen years, and the second generation born in Canada. Each group is very unique, but Korean Canadians are very loyal to their Korean culture. They do this by local culture activities, university and alumni groups, seniors’ groups, language schools and business contacts. Vancouver and Toronto have Korean-language newspapers, and Korean television and radio programs. Korean dance, music art, as well as martial arts and Korean cuisine, are very popular in Canada.

Today, many Korean Canadians are Christians, and often attend Korean churches. A small number are Buddhist or are not religious.



Statistics were researched in 2007 by the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The statistics showed that among Koreans living in Canada, 86,084 are Canadian citizens, 72,077 are permanent residents, 20,738 people have student visas, and 19,271 other people are temporary residents.[1] The Canada 2001 Census said that there are 101,715 Canadians of Korean descent, but Korean community leaders and the media think that there are more than this. A big group could be temporary students studying English. According to the Canada 1996 Census, 53.6% of Korean immigrants to Canada graduated from University, compared to 23% of other Canadians. However, because Canadian employers prefer degrees from Canada, Korean immigrants often do jobs that are not what they studied in Korea; 40% worked in family-owned businesses, and their average income is only 67% of other Canadian's income.[18]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 MOFAT 2009
  2. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  3. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  4. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  5. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  6. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  7. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  8. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  9. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  10. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  11. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  12. "Statistics Canada: 2006 Community Profiles". 13 March 2007.
  13. Lindsay 2001, p. 11
  14. 재외국민등록/Registration of nationals overseas, South Korea: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2009, archived from the original on 2008-04-30, retrieved 2009-11-09
  15. "100,000 Koreans living illegally in Canada", Asian Pacific Post, 2004-09-09, archived from the original on 2009-01-06, retrieved 2009-02-24
  16. "Illegal S. Korean Emigrants Abroad Estimated at 350,000", Yonhap News, 2004-09-03, retrieved 2010-07-27[permanent dead link]
  17. 17.0 17.1 Yoon 2006, p. 17
  18. 18.0 18.1 Yoon 2006, p. 18
  19. Kwak 2004, p. 8
  20. Kwak 2004, p. 3
  21. Kwak 2004, pp. 7–8
  22. Kwak 2004, p. 10
  23. Han & Ibbott 2005, p. 157
  24. Han & Ibbott 2005, p. 155
  25. Han & Ibbott 2005, p. 160