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Christian Emigration Report: Lebanon and Syria

  1. According to the UN Economic & Social Commission in Western Asia (ESCWA), the estimated annual emigration for the last years is 31,331.
  2. In Britain, there are 5,000 people of Lebanese origin. In Belgium, there were 6,000 Lebanese, many of whom returned there. In Finland, there are 6,000 Lebanese out of whom 2,000 are Christians; most of them are young people. In Germany, there are 60,000 Lebanese, most of them from South Lebanon; 15,000 are Christian. In Austria, there are 150 Maronite families. In Switzerland, there are 450 families totaling 3,500 people; most of them work in the United Nations or governmental organizations. In Italy, 500 Lebanese families are located in the north of the country. The Lebanese people are few in Portugal and Spain (MECC Source).
  3. According to a study done by the magazine Commerce du Levant, September 2001, the emigration to Canada started prior World War I. According to the Lebanese Consulate in Montreal, numbers have increased since 1988. There are 250,000 Lebanese people living in Canada, of which more than 150,000 live in the Province of Quebec, especially in Montreal (those numbers account for the recent arrivals). Others live in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.

The people who migrate to Canada are from different social classes compared to those who left Lebanon for Europe, most of whom are from the higher classes. The major reason for migration is the economic crisis prevailing in Lebanon. For wealthier classes, Canada is an attractive country to start a business, provide their families with Canadian citizenship and provide their children with good education. Canada offers good advantages: English and French, proximity to the United States, lower cost of living compared to Europe and political stability. The Lebanese people in Canada are mostly found in the medical, commercial and food businesses.

Who is immigrating to Lebanon?

Caritas migrant center divides the immigrating population as follows:





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