Fastest Canada Population Growth Since 1957 Driven By Immigration

Canada Takes ‘Step In Right Direction’ By Maintaining Immigration Levels
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Immigration drove the fastest quarterly population growth in Canada since 1957 in the three months that ended at the start of October.

“Canada’s population was estimated at 40,528,396 on Oct. 1, 2023, an increase of 430,635 people up 1.1 per cent from July 1,” reports Statistics Canada.

“This was the highest population growth rate in any quarter since the second quarter of 1957, which saw growth of 1.2 per cent, when Canada’s population grew by 198,000 people.”

As the Canadian population ages, the number of deaths to births increases and so natural population growth declines. Almost all, 96 per cent of Canada’s current population growth is due to immigration.

“The rest of this gain, four per cent, was the result of natural increase, or the difference between the number of births and deaths,” notes Statistics Canada.

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“The contribution of natural increase to population growth is expected to remain low in the coming years because of population aging, lower fertility levels, and the high number of immigrants and non-permanent residents coming to Canada.”

In its report, Record-High Population Growth Continues, Fuelled By Strong Permanent And Temporary Immigration, Statistics Canada noted in mid-December  that Canada welcomed 107,972 new permanent residents in the third quarter.

“From January to September 2023, immigration reached 79.8 per cent, or 371,299 new permanent residents of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) target of 465,000 immigrants for the year,” noted the statistical and demographic services agency.

“From July 1 to October 1, the country saw the number of non-permanent residents continue to increase. The total non-permanent resident population increased from 2,198,679 to 2,511,437.

That’s an additional 312,758 temporary residents during the third quarter alone, the greatest quarterly increase going back to 1971 when data on non-permanent residents became available.

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The gain in temporary residents was mostly due to an increase in the number of work and study permit holders and, to a lesser extent, an increase in the number of refugee claimants.

Although Canada’s record-breaking immigration fuelled population growth in all provinces and territories except the Northwest Territories during the third quarter of this year, some provinces grew faster than others.

Alberta, PEI Ontario Grew Faster Than The National Average In Q3

“Population growth rates in the third quarter of 2023 exceeded the national level of 1.1 per cent in Alberta which grew at 1.3 per cent, Prince Edward Island which grew at 1.2 per cent and Ontario which grew at 1.2 per cent,” reports Statistics Canada.

“The population grew in all provinces and territories, except in the Northwest Territories which saw a drop of half a percentage point.”

During the first nine months of 2023, Canada’s population grew by 1,030,378 people, more than the growth for any full-year period since Confederation in 1867, including 2022, when there was a record growth.

Under the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan, Canada is planning to welcome 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024, another 500,000 in 2025 and then hold the line on immigration in 2026 with another 500,000 newcomers.

That’s a total of 1.485 million immigrants to Canada over those three years.

Canada operates a two-tier immigration system which allows foreign nationals to gain their permanent residency through the federal Express Entry system’s Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) of the 10 Canadian provinces.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.