(UPI) — Canada’s immigrant population has risen to 21.9 percent, the highest number in more than 80 years, and it’s expected to get higher, according to Canada Census figures released Wednesday.

The current number marks a significant increase since 2006 when Canada’s immigrant population was 19.8 percent. And it’s the highest since 1921, when Canada’s immigrant population was at 22.9 percent, reported the CBC.

With a current total population of about 36 million, Canada allowed 1.2 million immigrants between 2011 and 2016, with approximately 30 percent arriving through the country’s skilled worker program.

Almost half — 48 percent — of Canada’s immigrant population came from Asia, according to Statistics Canada numbers. Europeans accounted for 21 percent. Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa made up another 21 percent. Seven percent came from the British Isles and 3 percent came from the United States.

In addition to more than 20 percent of the population being foreign-born, 37.5 percent of Canadians under the age of 15 have a parent who is foreign-born, as well.

That’s about a 3 percent increase since 2011, Statistics Canada found, and the number is expected to grow.

“This population of children with an immigrant background could continue to grow and could represent from 39.3 percent to 49.1 percent of children under the age of 15 by 2036,” the organization said.

Canadian immigration attorney David Cohen told the Canada Immigration Newsletter that the numbers make an argument in favor of cultural diversity.

“With two-in-five residents of Canada now coming from an immigrant background, either as a first- or second-generation immigrant, Canada’s success as a multicultural nation serves as a reminder to the world that there is another way to do things — a way that eschews ethno-nationalism in favour of openness and growth,” Cohen said.

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