The demographics of Metro Vancouver are changing. The Caucasians will become a minority by 2031. It is predicted that 59 per cent of the population will be visible minorities. Visible minorities are people who are not from a Caucasian race or white in colour.

According to a study done by the University of British Columbia geographer Daniel Hiebert, the largest group will be the Chinese followed by South Asians, Filipinos and Koreans. The report suggests ethnic residents will increase by 1.15 million.

The report also predicts that ethnic groups will tend to congregate in certain neighborhoods which will create a racial segregation. Already certain parts of Surrey have the largest percentage of South Asians and close to 50 percent of the Richmond residents are of Chinese descent.

I believe from a cultural point of view, all levels of governments and community leaders should encourage new immigrants to integrate into the mainstream society. For the Canadian multicultural society to function more effectively in the coming decades all Canadians and new immigrants need to make greater efforts to know understand each other.

And on a business front, organizations also need to change to meet the demands their clientele. What worked in the past will not work in the coming years. For instance the needs and taste of the Korean community are much different than the Filipino community.

Already some large grocery stores are being proactive by bringing in different types of foods to meet the demands of their ethnic clientele.

All businesses need to look at the changing demographics in Metro Vancouver as an opportunity for greater productivity and profitability.