The percentage of people who were, or had ever been, a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada as immigrants in 2021 is 23%, the highest percentage since Confederation in 1867. Canada has already surpassed its previous record, established in 1921, when immigrants made up 22.3% of the nation’s population, making it the highest among the G7 nations. If current demographic trends continue, immigrants may comprise anything from 29.1% to 34.0% of Canada’s population by 2041, according to Statistics Canada’s population forecasts.
Canada’s annual Immigration Levels Plan for 2023–2025, which was published on November 1, 2022, adds support to these forecasts. The plan says that the country intends to accept 465,000 immigrants in 2023, 4,85,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025.
To appreciate why immigration is becoming so prolific across Canada, two crucial factors — the aging of Canada’s natural population and the country’s low fertility rate — must be understood. Canada’s labour market is contracting as a result of these demographic changes, which has a variety of negative effects on the economy of the nation.
Two critical elements — the ageing of Canada’s native population and the low reproduction rate of the nation — must be recognised in order to comprehend why immigration is becoming so prevalent across the country.
Canadian Population is Aging Quickly
The census of 2021 projected that between 2016 and 2021, there were 7 million more people in Canada who were 65 or older. Canadians who fall within this age bracket today make up 19% of the country’s population. This statistic, together with five-year growth in the number of seniors in Canada (+20%) occurred in the census (2011 to 2016), indicates that the country’s population is ageing quickly.
Canada’s Lower Fertility Rate
The fertility rate in Canada is below the level needed to replace the population. At 2.1 children per woman, the population replacement level is current. Canada’s fertility rate has progressively decreased over time, continuing a trend that began in 2009, and will hit a record low of 1.4 children per woman in 2020. The number of newborns in Canada fell to its lowest level since 2007 in 2020, and the year-over-year decline in births (-3.6%) was the largest since 1997.
As a Solution, Canada Needs Strong Immigration Arrival Numbers to Thrive
Every country needs a robust labour force to enable consistent production of goods and provision of services because its citizens are what fuel national expenditure and consumption. A country’s economic well-being will be negatively impacted by a weak population and a labour force shortage, which will limit production and consequent spending. Consequently, only immigration can aid Canada in better avoiding such issues.
Canada’s population growth is mostly dependent on immigration because of the difficulties mentioned above. In reality, new arrivals to Canada as temporary or permanent immigrants were responsible for approximately 80% of the country’s population growth during the most recent census. Given that immigrants in Canada made up 79.9% of the increase in the country’s workforce between 2016 and 2021, this immigration-driven population growth has been extremely advantageous for the country’s labour force.
The economy of Canada will keep growing favourably as more new immigrants find work, make money, and then spend it, stimulating the economy. Increased levels of immigration will also occur when more foreigners join Canadian citizens in paying taxes and spending money on housing, transportation, and other essentials. As a result, this will increase the immigration targets for the country’s overall economic growth.