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Canada attains a milestone as its population touches 40 million mark

Immigrants help Canada attain a milestone; population touches 40 million

Team Parvasi – Inside

New immigrants have contributed in a big way to help Canada achieve yet another milestone as its population touched the 40 million mark on Thursday.

According to data released by  Statistics Canada, the country’s population is currently growing at a record-setting pace. In 2022, the number of Canadians rose by 1,050,110. This marks the first time in Canadian history that its population grew by over 1 million people in a single year, and the highest annual population growth rate (+2.7%) on record since 1957 (+3.3%).

While that previous record is mostly attributed to the high number of births during the post-war baby boom, international migration accounted for nearly all growth recorded in 2022 (96%).

If this rate of population growth was to stay constant in the years to come, the Canadian population could double in about 26 years, Statistics Canada said.

In 2021, more than 8.3 million people, or almost one quarter (23%) of the population, were or had ever been, landed immigrants or permanent residents in Canada. This was the largest proportion since Confederation, topping the previous 1921 record of 22.3%, and the highest among the G7.

This growth is reflected across Canada. In 2022, every single province and territory recorded a growing population, except for the Northwest Territories.

Canada’s population clock uses a real-time model based on Statistics Canada’s quarterly demographic estimates. The numbers for Canada and for each province and territory are updated in real-time based on the most recent birth, death and migration data.

The clock also shows the time it takes for a demographic event (birth, death or migration component) to occur in Canada. However, the clock does not reflect when the events themselves actually occur. Rather, it shows the average pace of Canada’s population renewal in real-time.

The census of population is conducted every five years. It provides a snapshot of Canada at a specific point in time and also provides counts for small regions and characteristics of the population according to various variables. Statistics Canada complements this data with ongoing population estimates that track demographic shifts between censuses.

Canada is by far leading the G7 countries for population growth. This was certainly true in 2022 and has been the case for the last two decades.

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In 2021, more than 8.3 million people, or almost one quarter (23%) of the population, were, or had ever been, a landed immigrant or permanent resident in Canada. This was the largest proportion since Confederation, topping the previous 1921 record of 22.3%, and the highest among the G7.

Canada’s Indigenous population continues to grow much faster than the national average. It increased by 9.4% from 2016 to 2021, surpassing the growth of the non-Indigenous population over the same period (+5.3%).

The 2021 Census counted 1.8 million Indigenous people, accounting for 5% of Canada’s total population, up from 4.9% in 2016.

Statistics Canada has been tracking the growth of Canada’s population since the very first national census, conducted in 1871.

Canada has known several important waves of immigration. One of the biggest was at the very beginning of the 20th century, which saw many immigrants settling the Prairies. In 1913, Canada welcomed over 400 000 immigrants. A record that was only surpassed in 2021 (and again in 2022).

The period after the Second World War (1946-1965) also saw very high rates of population growth, mostly because of the baby boom. The average number of children per woman at that time peaked at 3.94 in 1959, compared to 1.4 in 2020.

The fertility rate started declining after the 1960s. By 1995, immigration overtook natural increase (births minus deaths) as the main source of population growth.

In 2015, there were more Canadians aged 65 and older than between 0 and 14 for the first time in Canada’s history.

Canada’s immigration targets have been increasing since 2016, in an effort to address labour shortages and an aging population. In 2020-2021 population growth slowed due to border restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. But as recent numbers show, it quickly bounced back.

Prabhjot Singh


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