For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Iraqi Canadians.

Iraqi Canadians

This article uses bare URLs, which are uninformative and vulnerable to link rot. Please consider converting them to full citations to ensure the article remains verifiable and maintains a consistent citation style. Several templates and tools are available to assist in formatting, such as reFill (documentation) and Citation bot (documentation). (August 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Iraqi Canadians
Total population
84,130 (by birth), 59,300 (by ancestry, 2021 Census)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal
Mesopotamian Arabic, Canadian English, and Canadian French
also Kurdish (Sorani, Feyli and Kurmanji dialects), Turkish (Iraqi Turkmen/Turkoman dialects), and Neo-Aramaic (Chaldean, Ashuri, and Mandaic)
Majority Islam (Shia and Sunni),
minority Christianity (Syriac Christianity and Catholic), Mandaeism and Judaism
Related ethnic groups
Arabs, Arab Canadians, Iraqis, Iraqi diaspora

Iraqi Canadians are Canadians of full or partial Iraqi descent, as well as people from the state of Iraq who are ethno-linguistic and religious minorities. According to the 2011 Census there were 49,680 Canadians of Iraqi ancestry, an increase compared to the 2006 Census.[1]


Emigration from Iraq to Canada has increased dramatically due to political and economic situations in Iraq. The Iraq-Iran War resulted in many immigrants. With the destroyed Iraqi economy and the oppression of the 13-year economic sanctions against Iraq that followed the Gulf War of 1990–91, there was all the more reason to emigrate. From 1945 until 1975, fewer than 200 Iraqis arrived in Canada.[2] Emigration substantially increased in 1979, the year Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq. Between 1975 and 1992, 6,472 Iraqis arrived in Canada,[2] establishing about 3.5 percent of all Arab immigrants in Canada.[2] About 65 percent of Iraqis settled in the province of Quebec, particularly in Montreal, and in the province of British Columbia, particularly in Vancouver on shores of the Pacific Ocean. Many Iraqis also live in the province of Ontario, particularly in the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, Windsor and Toronto, the most populated city in Canada.

The 1991 Canadian census recorded 4,790 Iraqis; 3,525 of wholly Iraqi ancestry, and 1,265 of partial Iraqi ancestry.[2] Iraqi immigrants through the period of 1981-1992 settled principally in a few cities in Canada: British Columbia (362), Alberta (268), Quebec (203), Ontario (176), and Manitoba (152).[2]


The main causes for the immigration of Iraqis were due to the Gulf War and the situation in Iraq which drove them out of their homeland.

In Canada, Iraqi immigrants seem to face three unexplainable problems, the first being unable to find jobs where they can apply their professional expertise. The second is discrimination, with a possibility that some employers associate them with the regime that they fled. The third is their lack of Canadian experience. Despite a high level of education and professional experience, 54 percent of 892 immigrants were unemployed. Of the 407 with jobs, 40 percent had professional positions; 24 percent, lower white-collar; 30 percent, blue-collar; 3 percent, service; and 3 percent, not stated.[2]

Community life

Iraqi Embassy in Ottawa

The patterns of formal association among Iraqis are new and voluntary, as revealed most notably in the Iraqi Community Center[3] based in Cote Des Neiges, Montreal. The center helps Iraqis adapt to Canada and develop ties with general society, and disseminates information about the ethnocultural heritage of Iraqi Canadians. Gender equity is the norm; the president of the Iraqi Canadian Society is a woman.[2]


Despite differences in dialect, many Iraqi Canadians see themselves as Arabs, Mandaeans, Assyrians or Chaldeans. Almost all Iraqi Arab immigrants wish to maintain the Arabic language in both oral and written forms. Because young children and Canadian-born ones cannot easily learn reading and writing skills, more emphasis is put on teaching oral skills. Many Canadian-born can understand spoken Arabic without being able to speak it.

Gender equity, which has expanded in Iraq itself, is encouraged in Canada. Marriage for both males and females remains principally endogamous.

There are a sizable number of Iraqi Christians in Canada. Christian denominations include Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic Church, and Syriac Orthodox Church. The remaining 40 percent are Muslims, the majority being Shiite. There are also small numbers of Mandaeans and Jews, numbering in the hundreds or thousands.

Iraqi population in Canada by province and territory

Provinces and territories (2011) [4]
 Ontario 35,220
 British Columbia 3,145
 Alberta 4,465
 Manitoba 615
 Saskatchewan 810
 Quebec 411

Notable Iraqi Canadians

See also


  1. ^ a b Statistics Canada (3 June 2023). "2021 Census Profile". Retrieved 3 June 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Multicultural Canada". Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables". Statistics of Canada. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  5. ^ Iraqi released from Syrian jail
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Iraqi Canadians
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?