The Chinese Community in Canada

Chinatown has developed cultural autonomy with dance groups, musicians and children’s orchestras. Chinese language newspapers are a vital part of the community.

Filial piety is a core value for many Chinese families. They spend time with family and are often very close to grandparents. They also respect hierarchy and eschew conflict.

Chinese Canadians

For more than 200 years people of Chinese descent have made Canada their home. They come from different regions of China, and from around the world. They have made contributions in literature, sport, politics, music, business, philanthropy, and education. They have established vibrant communities that have shaped Canadian society.

In the 19th century, Chinatowns in Canada developed as commercial and social centres for Chinese families. Despite stereotypes of overcrowded ghettos, these communities were a welcome respite from racist and discriminatory laws such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Head Tax.

The basic unit of kinship organization in the community is the clan, based on surname commonality. District associations, whose leaders are also the heads of the clan associations, often play an important role in the community. Although membership in the various churches has declined, many Chinese Canadians follow religious practices such as Taoism and Zen Buddhism. Some, such as the members of the Hong Kong community in Canada, sponsor cultural exchanges to promote the preservation of traditional Chinese culture and to fight for the fair representation of Asians in the media.

Overseas Chinese

Countless Chinese who have lived abroad for generations have set up businesses that trade, invest, or manufacture intermediate goods. They have forged strong commercial connections along familial and cultural lines, and operate in legal environments that vary widely across countries.

Beijing views this global community as a “highly coordinated ethno-nationalist force” that can provide financial, professional, and cultural resources for the nation and that is available to support its soft power efforts. However, the overseas Chinese are socio-culturally and politically extremely diverse.

Compared to their predecessors, recent migrants are better educated and more likely to hold management positions. They also come from a wider range of regions and speak different languages. They are the main group to benefit from the China’s current diaspora policy, which has been geared towards attracting more business investment and promoting cultural exchanges. However, they have been largely ignored by the CCP in terms of political participation. Nonetheless, they are invited to attend the Political Consultative Conference as non-voting delegates.

Chinese immigrants

The Chinese community is a diverse group of people from various backgrounds who have contributed to the fabric of Canada for generations. In addition to their rich cultural heritage, the Chinese community in Canada also has a strong sense of family and kinship. Many of them have established religious, political and benevolent associations that promote their culture and support the settlement process. These groups were often developed in Chinatowns, and they continue to serve as a social hub for people of Chinese origin.

The emergence of these associations has shifted the orientation of Chinese government agencies away from preventing emigration to encouraging return migration by high-skilled professionals. They are now referred to as “new emigrants” ().

New emigrants are motivated by a desire to achieve self-employment, better education for their children and the security of their wealth. They are also attracted to the lifestyle of western countries, and this is a factor in their decision to migrate from China.


The United States has a substantial Chinese-American population. Large metropolitan areas with the largest concentrations of Chinese-Americans include New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. New York City, with its many boroughs including Brooklyn and Queens, is the only municipal entity in the country with a larger Chinese-American population than the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Historically, Chinese immigrants lived in ethnic neighborhoods called Chinatowns. As they found professional work and gained wealth, they moved from Chinatowns into suburban areas and other neighborhoods.

Today, the Chinese American community is diverse and spread across the country. Many live in Chinatowns or ethnoburbs, while others are affluent and well-educated. Despite these differences, the population of Chinese Americans continues to grow, though at a lower rate than before the pandemic. This is largely due to the restrictions on immigration from China that began in 2022. Compared to the overall foreign-born and American-born populations, Chinese adults are more likely to have a college degree.

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