According to the 2001 census of Canada, nearly 40 percent of the residents (roughly, 750,000 out of 2 million) of Greater Vancouver had at some point in their lives immigrated to Canada. During the 20 or so years following the Second World War, most of the immigrants who came to Canada were of European origin. Since the sweeping changes made to immigration policy in the 1960s, which introduced a 'points system' and removed barriers impeding the entry of people from outside Europe, the proportion of immigrants from Asia, Latin America (including the Caribbean), and Africa has grown enormously. This atlas attempts to show, graphically, how the addition of newcomers from a wide variety of world regions, has affected the social geography of Greater Vancouver. Similar atlases of immigration have been produced for Montréal and Toronto.

Nearly all of the information used to create this atlas was collected by Statistics Canada in the 2001 census, which required one out of every five households to fill in a special 'long form' providing considerable detail about the birthplace of members of the household, their ethnic origin, education levels, income, and so on. Statistics Canada organizes this information at several different geographical scales, ranging from individual blocks in cities to Canada as a whole. We have elected to use Census Tracts as our basic mapping unit, as was done in the 1996 atlas. There were just over 300 Census Tracts in Greater Vancouver in 2001, with an average of around 6,700 people in each. Statistics Canada tries to ensure, to the extent that it is possible, that each Census Tract is as homogeneous in terms of its socio-economic composition as possible. However, readers of this atlas should be aware that there is often a great deal of variability within census tracts, and that maps made at finer scales would reveal much more complex patterns than those we have been able to show here.

*For further detail scroll through the discussionexplanation and definitions pages.