The city takes its name from George Vancouver, who explored the inner harbour of Burrard Inlet in 1792 and gave various places British names. The family name “Vancouver” itself originates from the Dutch “Van Coevorden”, denoting somebody from the city of Coevorden, Netherlands. The explorer’s ancestors came to England “from Coevorden”, which is the origin of the name that eventually became “Vancouver”.
Vancouver is a seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011.
Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada: 52% of its residents are not native English speakers, 48.9% are native speakers of neither English nor French, and 50.6% of residents belong to visible minority groups.
Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life, and the Economist Intelligence Unit acknowledged it as the first city ranked among the top ten of the world’s most well-living cities for ten consecutive years.
Vancouver has been called a “city of neighbourhoods”. Each neighbourhood in Vancouver has a distinct character and ethnic mix. Neighbourhoods with distinct ethnic commercial areas include Chinatown, Punjabi Market, Little Italy, Greektown, and (formerly) Japantown.
Since the 1980s, immigration increased substantially, making the city more ethnically and linguistically diverse; 53% of Vancouver’s residents do not speak English as their first language.