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Nearly a quarter of all Canadian residents are migrants

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New information released by Canada’s census takers revealed that almost a fourth of Canadian residents were born in other countries. The country’s current demographic trends suggest that immigration will account for an estimated one-third of Canada’s real GDPgrowth by 2030.

According to StatsCan 21.9% of Canadians are immigrants, the highest share in 85 years.  The share of immigrants in Canada has reached its highest level in almost a century, according to 2016 census figures.

In order to stay competitive Canada has set an immigration target of 300 000 immigrants, most of which will be economic migrants, to enter the country in 2018.


In November 2017, the federal government tabled a multi-year immigration plan.  In an effort to mitigate the negative economic and fiscal impacts of its aging population and low birth rate Canada will up its migrant intake to 340,000 by 2020.

New report shows that immigration will become increasingly important to Canada’s economic growth. In 2017, Canada’s economy grew by an impressive three per cent—largely driven by strong consumer spending, a hot housing market, and the fastest employment growth in a decade. The situation has brought Canada’s unemployment rate to the lowest level on record—accelerating the fundamental labour market challenges related to retiring baby boomers.


If not for immigration, Canada’s population growth would slowly erode to eventually taking a negative turn by 2034. This situation has already materialized in Atlantic Canada which has resulted in difficult economic and fiscal prospects for the region.

The census figures show 21.9 per cent of Canadians report being or having been an immigrant or permanent resident, nearly matching the high of 22.3 per cent in 1921 and up from 19.8 per cent in 2006. The number was slightly higher than 21.9 per cent in 1931 too.

The country welcomed 1.2 million new immigrants between 2011 and 2016, with 60.3 per cent of them being admitted as "economic" immigrants — nearly half of those through the skilled workers program.

Migrants are taking advantage of Provincial and Territorial Nomination Programs

StatsCan have also established that migrants are happy to settle in Provincial and Territorial Canada (the more rural parts of the country) with increases in the share of new immigrants settling in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. While 39 per cent of new immigrants still head to Ontario, that is down from 55.9 per cent in 2001. Still just more than half of migrants choose to settle in and around Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

"This isn't just about the economy, but because some provinces are taking advantage of the Provincial and Territorial Nominee Program and using this program to attract immigrants that fit their economic needs," says René Houle, senior analyst with Statistics Canada.

Source: Canada Broadcasting Corporation

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