Korean immigrants in Vancouver have been hit harder by the economic downturn because there is a higher unemployment rate and the value of the Korean won is decreasing relative to the Canadian dollar. They represent a fast growing segment of the population. The Korean population in the Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) jumped by 69% between 1996 and 2001 and increased another 50% between 2001 and 2006, with 30 990 Koreans living in the Vancouver CMA in 2006.
Most Korean immigrants come to Canada as economic—rather than family—class immigrants. For example, between 1991 and 2000, 91% of Koreans arrived as economic class immigrants. As well, Korean immigrants tend to be well educated with 35% having a post-secondary education. Despite these figures, many Korean immigrants have trouble integrating into the labour force.
The value of the South Korean won has decreased sharply compared to the Canadian dollar, which means it’s more expensive to support families living in Canada.