In Canada, record population growth driven by immigration

Migrants arriving at the border with Canada. SEBASTIEN ST-JEAN / AFP

Canada has experienced record population growth in 2022 due to an influx of immigrants and temporary residents, the national statistics institute announced on Wednesday March 22, which forecasts a doubling of the population in 26 years if the trend is maintained.

Canada had 39,566,248 inhabitants on January 1, ie one million more than a year earlier – an increase not seen since 1957. With immigration as the main origin. Canada records “from afar” the highest population growth rate (+2.7%) of the G7 countries, indicates Statistics Canada in a press release, and continues a trend that began several years ago. “Almost all the countries with a higher population growth rate (…) were in Africa”explains the institute.

Faced with an unemployment rate that has almost never been so low (5%) and an aging population, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has doubled its objective of welcoming immigrants since taking office in 2015 In 2022, the country welcomed 437,180 immigrants and now aims to admit 500,000 every year by 2025 to make up for the labor shortage. The number of temporary residents, holders of work or study permits, was also up, reaching 607,782 people.

Challenges related to housing, infrastructure and transport

The Canadian government also announced on Wednesday an extension until next year of the program allowing the emergency reception of Ukrainian refugees, which was due to expire next week. And the authorities had recently unveiled new measures aimed at facilitating the immigration process for Turkish and Syrian citizens already in Canada, a month after the earthquake which killed more than 50,000 people in these two countries.

According to Statistics Canada, the increase in immigration “could pose other challenges for certain regions of the country, in relation to housing, infrastructure and transport, as well as for the provision of services to the population”.