Immigration Fuels Canada's Rapid Population Growth to 41 Million

#immigration #population

Canada recently passed 41 million inhabitants as of April 1, 2024, marking an important population milestone. This achievement, which highlights the nation's consistent growth trajectory, comes less than a year after reaching the 40 million threshold in June 2023.

Immigration Fueling Growth

There was a noteworthy 242,673 gain in the first quarter of 2024, which translates to a quarterly growth rate of 0.6 percent. It is noteworthy that nearly all of this growth—99.3 percent or 240,955 individuals—can be ascribed to foreign migration, which includes both temporary and permanent immigration.

This increase is in line with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) 2024 immigration targets, demonstrating the critical role immigration plays in propelling population growth in Canada.

The data demonstrates Canada's welcoming attitude towards immigration. Since the third quarter of 2021, the nation has regularly welcomed over 100,000 immigrants every quarter; in the first quarter of 2024 alone, 121,758 people arrived.

Notably, unprecedented numbers of immigrants arrived in the Maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, addressing the acute need for skilled labour in these areas.

Temporary Immigration Trends

Temporary immigration has contributed significantly to Canada's population expansion in addition to permanent immigration. Canada's population increased by 131,810 non-permanent residents (NPRs) in the first quarter of 2024.

Despite being higher than the year before, this number is among the lowest net gains since the spike in temporary migration started in 2022. This is related to the fact that NPR permit caps will be in place starting in 2024.

In April 2024, the total number of NPRs in Canada hit a record high of 2,793,594. Of them, 363,312 were people seeking asylum, protected individuals, and related groups, and 2,430,282 were people with permits, including employment or study permits, and their families.

Interestingly, while the number of people with work permits rose dramatically, the number of people with study permits fell noticeably. This was mainly because of modifications made to Canada's International Student Program and the imposition of restrictions on study permit numbers.

Interprovincial Migration Patterns

Interprovincial movement, in addition to immigration, influences Canada's demographic dynamics. 89,408 migrants migrated between provinces in the first quarter of 2024, a modest decrease from the same time the year before.

Interprovincial migration resulted in net losses for the majority of provinces and territories, with Ontario regularly recording the highest net loss of residents to other provinces and territories for several quarters running. Notably, migration to Alberta increased net, mostly from in-migration from British Columbia and Ontario. This pattern shows how Canada's population dynamics are changing, with certain areas drawing in more immigrants than others.

In addition to being a numerical accomplishment, Canada's population milestone is evidence of its welcoming immigration laws and the contributions of immigrants to its vibrant and diverse society.


How does Canada's immigration policy favour skilled workers over other immigrant categories?

Through initiatives like Provincial Nominee Programs and Express Entry, Canada's immigration laws aim to draw in skilled labourers while simultaneously allowing for family reunification, refugee status, and humanitarian situations.

What part do temporary workers and students from other countries play in Canada's population dynamics?

Although they contribute to Canada's economic and cultural variety, temporary residents are subject to certain laws and limits that are intended to control population growth.


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