A new report from Statistics Canada reveals that Canada experienced significant population growth between July 2022 and July 2023, making it one of the fastest growing countries in the world during that period. The country’s population surpassed 40 million, reaching 40,097,761 people, marking a 2.9% increase from the previous year.
The report highlights that while the difference between births and deaths accounted for a small portion of the population growth, 98% of the increase came from net international migration. This influx of immigrants played a crucial role in driving Canada’s population expansion.
Canada’s fertility rate reached a record low in 2022, with only 1.33 children born per woman, further emphasizing the reliance on immigration for population growth. As of July 2023, there were an estimated 2,198,679 non-permanent residents living in Canada, representing a remarkable 46% increase from the previous year. This surge in the population of non-permanent residents is the largest year-over-year increase since comparable data has been available.
The report attributes the population growth to various factors such as work and study permits, reflecting the government’s strategy to address labor shortages by settling more immigrants. The government plans to increase immigration targets over the next three years, with aims to bring in 465,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025.
Additionally, changes in policy have facilitated the retention of international graduates in Canada. The federal government introduced measures allowing graduates with recently expired or expiring post-graduation work permits to obtain extended work permits, enabling them to gain further job experience for up to 18 months. This initiative preserved a significant number of individuals within Canadian borders.
The report also mentions the influx of Ukrainian immigrants who were able to relocate to Canada under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, established in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These individuals contributed to the growth of Canada’s population of non-permanent residents.
Overall, the statistics reveal that Canada’s population growth from international migration outpaced growth from natural increases. The country’s population growth rate, if sustained, would result in a doubling of the population within 25 years.
Growth was not uniform across all provinces and territories. Alberta experienced the fastest demographic growth at four percent, followed by the Maritime provinces, with Prince Edward Island leading the way at 3.9%. Other provinces, such as Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, also saw notable increases in population.
The report underscores the significance of immigrants in Canada’s population growth and highlights the government’s continued commitment to attract and settle newcomers to address labor market needs and demographic dynamics.
– Statistics Canada report on population growth, 2022-2023
– CTV News Parliamentary Bureau Writer Spencer Van Dyk
– CTVNews.ca Writer Sissi De Flaviis