Indonesian Canadians

Indonesian Canadians are Canadian citizens of Indonesian descent or Indonesia-born people who reside in Canada. They are one of the smaller Asian minorities in Canada.

Indonesian Canadians
Total population
21,965 (2017)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Toronto,[2] Vancouver
Indonesian, English, Dutch[3]
Christianity · Sunni Islam[4]


In the early post-World War II period, most migrants from Indonesia to Canada were Indo people of mixed Dutch and pribumi ancestry. Many did not come directly from Indonesia, but rather went to the Netherlands and then re-migrated due to racial prejudice they faced there. Community members believe that perhaps 3,000 live in the Ontario area.[5] These migrants tend to be fluent in Dutch, and may also speak Indonesian, or more commonly Indonesian-based trade languages. However, Indonesians of Chinese descent formed the main group in the stream of migration which began in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[3] They have come to comprise an estimated 80% of Canada's population of Indonesian background. Most do not speak any variety of Chinese.[6]

7,610 respondents to the 1991 census stated their place of birth as "Indonesia".[7] Around half of those were settled in the Greater Toronto Area.[2] Data from the 2006 Census suggested that 14,320 people of Indonesian ethnic origin reside in Canada (3,225 single responses, 11,095 in combination with other responses), primarily in Ontario (6,325, or 44%), British Columbia (4,640, or 32%), and Alberta (1,920, or 13%).


More than half of Indonesian Canadians are believed to be Christians, with roughly equal numbers of Catholics and Protestants. In contrast, although Islam is Indonesia's majority religion, Muslims are estimated to make up only about 10% of Indonesian Canadians. An Indonesian Catholic congregation, the Ummat Katholik Indonesia, has been meeting in the Toronto area since 1979; it was first headed by a Dutch priest who had previously lived in Indonesia, and later by a Javanese theology student from the University of Toronto. An inter-demoninational Protestant fellowship, the Indonesian Christian Fellowship, also emerged in Toronto in the 1980s.[6]

Community organisations

The first Indonesian community organisations in Canada, the Indonesian-Canadian Association and the Canadian-Indonesian Society, were founded in 1969 in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively. Indonesian consuls' wives also set up branches of Dharma Wanita, a women's group, in various cities. A credit union, Indoka (Indonesian Credit Union) was established in the early 1970s. A group of Muslim and Christian women formed Sanggar Budaya (Culture Workshop), a dance and music group, a few years later.[8] There is also an Indonesian Catholic Organisation comprising mainly ethnic Chinese, as well as INCASEC (Indonesian Canadian Senior Citizens).[9]


  1. ^ Census 2016
  2. ^ a b Nagata 1988, p. 116
  3. ^ a b Schryer 1998, p. 157
  4. ^ Nagata 1999, p. 725
  5. ^ Schryer 1998, p. 155
  6. ^ a b Nagata 1999, p. 724
  7. ^ Nagata 1999, p. 722
  8. ^ Nakata 1998, p. 723
  9. ^ Schryer 1998, p. 158


  • Nagata, Judith (1988), "Religion, Ethnicity, and Language: Indonesian Chinese Immigrants in Toronto", Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science, 16 (1): 116–131, doi:10.1163/080382488X00072
  • Nagata, Judith (1999), "Indonesians", in Magocsi, Paul R. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples, University of Toronto Press, pp. 722–726, ISBN 978-0-8020-2938-6
  • Schryer, Frans J. (1998), "Dutch Indonesians in Ontario", The Netherlandic presence in Ontario: pillars, class and Dutch ethnicity, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, pp. 154–162, ISBN 978-0-88920-262-7
  • Citizenship (5), Place of Birth (272), Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (11), Age (12) and Sex (3) for the Population in Private Households of Canada, Provinces and Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2016 Census - 25% Sample Data, 2017-10-25

External links

Asian Canadians

Asian Canadians are Canadians who can trace their ancestry back to the continent of Asia or Asian people. Canadians with Asian ancestry comprise the largest and fastest growing visible minority group in Canada, with roughly 17.7% of the Canadian population. Most Asian Canadians are concentrated in the urban areas of Southern Ontario, the Greater Vancouver area, Calgary, and other large Canadian cities.

Asian Canadians considered visible minorities may be classified as East Asian Canadian (e.g. Chinese Canadians, Korean Canadians, Japanese Canadians); South Asian Canadians (e.g. Bangladeshi Canadians, Indian Canadians, Pakistani Canadians, Sri Lankan Canadians); Southeast Asian Canadian (e.g. Filipino Canadians, Vietnamese Canadians); or West Asian Canadians (e.g. Iranian Canadians, Iraqi Canadians, Lebanese Canadians).

Indonesian Americans

Indonesian Americans (Indonesian: Orang Amerika Indonesia) are migrants from the multiethnic country of Indonesia to the United States, and their U.S.-born descendants. As of the 2010 United States Census, they were the 15th largest group of Asian Americans, a position they still retain since the 2000 Census, and one of the fastest growing Asian Americans.

List of Canadians of Asian ancestry

This is a list of Canadians of Asian ancestry. Asian Canadians comprise the largest visible minority in Canada, at 11% of the Canadian population.

Canadian people
and society
List of
Canadians of Asian descent by area of origin
Central Asia
East Asia
Southeast Asia
South Asia
West Asia

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