Canada’s Fastest Population Growth Rate Since End Of Second World War Driven By Immigration

Canada’s Population Growth Sparks Calls For Balanced Immigration Policy
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Canada has witnessed its fastest quarterly population growth since Newfoundland and Labrador joined the confederation at the end of the Second World War in 1949, thanks in large part to immigration.

“Canada’s population was estimated at 38,929,902 people on July 1, an increase of 284,982, or up 0.7 per cent, from April 1,” said the statistical and demographic services agency.

“The growth over the second quarter represents an increase of more than 3,100 people per day. This was the highest growth in the number of people in Canada of any quarter since the addition of Newfoundland to the confederation in 1949.”

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In its Canada’s Population Estimates, Second Quarter 2022, Statistics Canada chalks up 94.5 per cent of that population growth to immigration which led to an increase of 269,305 people. 

“This was the highest increase from international migration since comparable records have existed and were 93,000 higher than in the third quarter of 2019, which saw an increase of 175,907, the next highest quarter on record,” said Statistics Canada.

Under its Immigration Levels Plan for 2022-2024, Ottawa had planned to welcome 431,645 permanent residents this year, 447,055 next year, and 451,000 in 2024.

But at the current rate of immigration, Canada is poised to exceed not only its targets for this year and the next but even the proposed target for 2024 – and that one by 4.5 per cent.

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The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals the country welcomed 274,980 new permanent residents in the first seven months of this year.

That puts Canada on track to see immigration hit 471,394 new permanent residents in 2022, or 16.1 per cent more than the record-breaking 406,025 new permanent residents to Canada last year.

“The number of immigrants observed in the second quarter of 2022, at 118,114, was the highest in any second quarter since comparable records have existed,” said Statistics Canada. 

“This follows recent increases in IRCC targets and could be the result of catch-up in growth following lower levels of immigration early in the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Canada Welcomed 157,310 Temporary Residents During The Second Quarter Of This Year

With a boom in the number of refugees and temporary residents coming here with study permits and work permits, Canada saw growth of 157,310 non-permanent residents during the second quarter of this year.

Record-breaking immigration to Canada is expected to change the country’s demographic make-up over the next couple of decades, leading to a much more diverse society than exists today.

“In 2041, the proportion of immigrants in the Canadian population could reach from 29.1 per cent to 34 per cent, depending on the selected scenario, up from 21.9 per cent in 2016,” said Statistics Canada earlier this year. “This would be a record-high level since the 1867 Canadian confederation.”

In a forecast entitled Canada in 2041: A Larger, More Diverse Population With Greater Differences Between Regions, the federal agency said immigrants and their children will likely be the majority in Canada by 2041.

“According to the reference scenario, the Canadian population would reach 47.7 million in 2041, and 25 million of them would be immigrants or children of immigrants born in Canada, accounting for 52.4 per cent of the total population,” said the federal agency.

Basing itself on currently planned levels of immigration, Statistics Canada projects one in four Canadians will have been born in either Asia or Africa by 2041.

“Considering these trends and the fact that population growth in the coming decades will depend primarily on international immigration, the Canadian population in 2041 is projected to include 9.9 million to 13.9 million people born in Asia or Africa, depending on the projection scenario,” said Statistics Canada. 

“These people alone could account for 23.1 per cent to 26.9 per cent of the total Canadian population in 2041, up from 13.5 per cent in 2016.”

Express Entry Is One Of Five Main Ways To Immigrate To Canada

There are five main ways to immigrate to Canada.

Under the Express Entry system, Canada receives immigration applications online. Applicants who meet eligibility criteria submit an online profile known as an Expression of interest (EOI), under one of three federal immigration programs or a participating provincial immigration program, to the Express Entry Pool.

Candidates’ profiles then are ranked against each other according to a points-based system called the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates will be considered for an ITA for permanent residence. Those receiving an ITA must quickly submit a full application and pay processing fees, within a delay of 90-days.

Then, there are the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). 

Under a shared jurisdiction between Ottawa and the provinces, Canada operates a two-tiered immigration system, offering programs for skilled workers, at both federal and provincial levels.

Through a network of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), almost all of Canada’s ten provinces and three territories can nominate skilled worker candidates for admission to Canada with the specific skills required by their local economies. Successful candidates who receive a provincial or territorial nomination can then apply for Canadian permanent residence through federal immigration authorities.

Immigrant investors can also come to Canada under the Start-up Visa program which can grant them Canadian permanent residence.

The program aims to recruit innovative entrepreneurs to Canada and link them with the Canadian private sector businesses, such as angel investor groups, venture capital funds or business incubators, and facilitate the establishment of their start-up business in Canada.

Students Can Come To Canada On A Study Permit, Get A PGWP And Then Permanent Residence

A designated venture capital fund must confirm that it is investing at least $200,000 into the qualifying business. Candidates can also qualify with two or more commitments from designated venture capital funds totalling $200,000. A designated angel investor group must invest at least $75,000 into the qualifying business.

International students can also eventually get their permanent residence in Canada by first coming under a Study Permit, then applying for a Post-graduation Work Permit, and finally seeking their permanent residents by applying through the Express Entry system.

Canada welcomes more than 350,000 international students every year. To be eligible to study in Canada these students must demonstrate that they:

  • have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada;
  • have enough money to pay for their tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation;
  • are law-abiding citizens with no criminal records;
  • are in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, and;
  • can satisfy an immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stays.

Once issued a study permit, these students can work in Canada under the following categories:

  • on campus without a work permit;
  • off campus with a work permit;
  • in co-op and internship programs, where work experience is part of the curriculum, with a work permit.

Upon graduation, a foreign student may apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Under this program, the work permit may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years.

The valuable work experience gained while an international grad works in Canada under a Post-Graduation Work Permit can count towards a permanent residence application through Canada Express Entry system.

Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used by Express Entry system programs, applicants for immigration are assigned points based on:

  • Skills;
  • Work experience;
  • Language ability;
  • Language ability and education of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner;
  • Possession of a job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment;
  • Possession of a provincial government nomination for permanent residence, and;
  • Certain combinations of language skills, education and work experience that result in a higher chance of the applicant becoming employed (skill transferability).  
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