The actual colonization was small in number under French rule. The Whites, who were a few thousand throughout Canada at the end of the century. XVII, and did not yet reach 100,000 in the middle of the next, they increased, after 1783, due to the influx of so-called Loyalisten, emigrated from the new neighboring state, now independent. But immigration becomes conspicuous only starting from the second quarter of the century. XIX: the periods 1826-50 and 1851-60 saw more than 1 million new settlers each enter Canada (mainly Irish and Memnonites from southern Russia), while more than ½ million immigrants from the decade 1901-1910 and press’ little the same from the four years before the war. In total, from 1901 to 1925, immigration exceeded 8 million residents, of whom, however, more than ¼ left Canada to move the majority to the United States. From 1880 onwards, the current of newcomers headed mainly towards the central provinces (prairies), while in the east the rural population made relatively little progress, or even marked a decrease, as in the case of Prince Edward Island after 1890. Of this immigration, for the period 1900-13, 38.8% came from the mother country, 33.3% from the United States, 6.5% from the of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, 3.6% from those of the Russian Empire, 3.5% from Italy, 1.2% from Germany and the remainder (11.1%) from various other regions, and especially from East Asia. Although the new settlers have settled almost everywhere, it can be said that the German and Scandinavian element predominates in Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Slavic (Ukrainians and Poles) in Manitoba, the French (to a far greater extent without comparison) in the province of Quebec, English in the rest, being however considerable the numerical entity also of other ethnic groups in the central provinces which are the most heterogeneous in this respect. The Italian element, in these very scarce, is concentrated above all in the province of Ontario, where more than 40 of the 75 thousand compatriots established in Canada live (for Italian immigration see below).
According to Baglib, the numerical entity of the different ethnic groups that participated in the population of Canada does not seem to have suffered, since it is controlled by the censuses (1871), profound relative mutations, as appears from the following table:
The prospectus does not show the number of American citizens who have passed through Canada; the residents born in the United States counted in the Dominion were 374,024 in 1921, of which 63% naturalized. Unlike what is observed in the nearby starry republic, the ancient colonizing nucleus (French) was able to keep its individuality very clear, not so much for the number, but for the conservative strength of the language, customs and religion: while decreasing of importance, due to lack of new immigrants, in the face of the Anglo-Saxon element that the mother country continues to reinvigorate, it still represents the most notable group among the non-English, also because it is less easily assimilated. In addition, the so-called Franco-Canadians are almost all concentrated in the province of Quebec (76% of the population),
Immigration from East Asia is also well differentiated, also concentrated in a province (Columbia Brit.), Especially in the cities; the Japanese, which began in 1894, reached its peak around 1906, without ever being notable (15,868 in 1921); more conspicuous, also because it is older, is the Chinese (39,587 in 1921): the two groups represent 10% of the population of the province.
It is difficult to say how many Aborigines were in Canada at the time of the discovery. The penetration of the Whites here, however, had a less violent character than in the territory of the United States, also because the resistance was weaker. On the shores of the Arctic lived, as today, the Eskimos; however, they must have decreased in number (the 1921 census marks 3270 in the whole Dominion) more than the Indians, which the statistics, not always reliable in this regard, have fluctuated, from 1892 to today, around 100,000 (110,815 in the 1921), or 1.3% of the total population (on indigenous peoples see below).
The Dominion birth rate (1927) is high (24.0%; maximum in the province of Quebec: 31.9 ‰; minimum in Columbia Brit. 17.4 ‰); nuptiality fluctuates between 5.5 ‰ (Prince Edward Island) and 8.2 ‰ (Columbia Brit.); mortality between 7.2 ‰ (Sask.) and 13.9 ‰ (Quebec), with mean values for the entire Dominion of 7.3 ‰ and 11.4 ‰ respectively. The natural increase of the population was maintained during the century. XIX around 1.3%, rising to 1.5% in the first decade of the following. The global movement of the population from 1871 to 1930 is indicated by the following figures:
This growth has taken place and continues at a rather varied pace in the various provinces. In the north-eastern ones it appears essentially concentrated in the periods 1871-8 (improved communications) and 1901-21 (exploitation of the forests), except for Prince Edward Island, where the population has decreased from 103,000 residents (1901) to 89 thousand (1921). Even the northern territories suffer loss of population (from 47 thousand residents in 1901 to 12 thousand in 1921); but these are partly a consequence of the new administrative limits; on the other hand, the increase in the western provinces was very rapid, essentially due to the intense agricultural settlement that the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway made possible after 1890. Between 1900 and 1921 the population of the four central and western provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia grew from 598 to 2481,000. (315%), with an increase of 139%, 733%, 705% and 194% respectively. Ontario and Quebec have lower figures; moreover, their growth dates back to the second half of the last century.
English is spoken by about 4 ½ million individuals, French by just over 1 ½ many other languages by a relatively small number of residents, English being actually understood and used by the vast majority of the population.