As of 2021, “people who were, or ever were, an immigrant or permanent resident in Canada”—grouped together for simplicity as “immigrants”—represent 23% of this country’s total population, following confederation in 1867. Highest ratio recorded since .
The highest among all G7 countries, Canada has also now topped its previous record set in 1921, when immigrants made up 22.3% of the country’s population.
According to statistics Canada’s population projections, if current demographic trends continue, “immigrants may represent [anywhere] From 29.1% to 34.0% of Canada’s population by 2041.
Such projections are further strengthened by Canada’s Annual Immigration Levels Plan for 2023–2025, which was released on November 1, 2022. Permanent residents of Canada in 2025.
Looking at all these important numbers, you may wonder: why is Canada accepting so many new immigrants?
Let’s take a deeper look at this topic, starting with an understanding of current Canadian population trends.
To understand why immigration is becoming so high across Canada, two important factors – the aging of Canada’s natural population and the country’s low fertility rate – must be understood. These demographic trends are shrinking Canada’s labor market, negatively affecting the country’s economy in a number of ways.
Canadians are aging fast
According to the 2021 Census, from 2016 to 2021, the number of children under 15 grew six times slower than the number of people 65 and older. In addition, the percentage of individuals aged 65 and older in Canada is set to increase to 7 million, representing an increase of 18.3% between 2016 and 2021. This age group of Canadians now represents 19% of the total population. This fact, as well as the fact that the largest five-year increase in people aged 65 or older (+20%) in Canada occurred in the census reporting period just before the most current census (2011 to 2016), indicate that Grants that Canada’s population is clearly aging rapidly.
Canadians are having fewer children
Adding to the concern surrounding the declining trend in natural Canadian population growth is the fact that Canada’s fertility rate is below the population replacement level. The current population replacement level is 2.1 children per woman. Following a steady trend since 2009, Canada’s fertility rate has fallen steadily over time, reaching a record low of 1.4 children per woman in 2020. Decrease in births since 1997 (-3.6%).
Solution: Canada needs immigration for the country to thrive
Canada needs immigration for continued economic growth and development.
A country’s residents drive national spending and consumption, which requires each country to have a strong labor force to ensure the continued production of goods and delivery of services. A frail population and lack of labor force will constrain production and subsequent spending, which is detrimental to the country’s economic well-being.
Thankfully, increased immigration can help Canada avoid such problems in this country.
Because of the issues mentioned above, Canada relies heavily on immigration for population growth. In fact, nearly 80% of the country’s population growth during the last census reporting period (+1.8 million between 2016 and 2021) was “accounted for by new arrivals to Canada as permanent or temporary immigrants.” During that time, Canada’s population “… grew almost twice as fast as the other G7 countries.”
This immigration-driven population growth has been beneficial to Canada’s labor force, as evidenced by the fact that immigrants to this country accounted for 79.9% of the national workforce growth between 2016 and 2021. Higher immigration also means Canada will be able to work towards addressing the “historic” job shortfall, argues the Financial Post.
Citing a report by RBC economists Nathan Janzen and Claire Fan, The Financial Post noted that Canada’s current labor market conditions are “confining more than half of [all] Canadian businesses are increasing production by 40% before the pandemic and 30% a decade ago. Thankfully, “immigration flows,” including a focused effort toward “putting newcomers’ skills to work and integrating this talent into Canada’s workforce,” could provide a much-needed boost to workforce productivity.
Ultimately, as a result of the boon that immigration will provide to the growth of Canada’s labor force, resulting immigration will help drive economic growth across the country. As more new immigrants become employed, earn money, and later spend money that goes back into the economy, Canada’s economy will continue to grow positively. Additionally, as more newcomers to Canada continue to join Canadian citizens in paying taxes and spending money on housing, transportation, and other necessities, increased levels of immigration will directly contribute to national economic growth. .
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