International migration accounted for nearly all growth recorded (95.9%)
CANADA’S population was estimated at 39,566,248 on January 1, 2023, after a record population growth of 1,050,110 people from January 1, 2022, to January 1, 2023, Statistics Canada announced this week.
This marks the first 12-month period in Canada’s history where population grew by over 1 million people, and the highest annual population growth rate (+2.7%) on record since that seen for 1957 (+3.3%).
This previous record population growth rate in 1957 was related to the high number of births during the post-war baby boom and the high immigration of refugees following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
In 2022, the reason behind Canada’s record-high population growth was somewhat different, since international migration accounted for nearly all growth recorded (95.9%).
Canada is by far leading the G7 countries for population growth in 2022, as it has been the case for many years.
Compared with 2021 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development country growth rates, the latest available for all members, Canada would rank first with a population growth of 2.7% for the year 2022.
Moreover, according to the most recent figures for other countries (as of 2021), Canada’s population growth rate of 2.7% in 2022 would put it among the top 20 in the world. Almost all countries with a higher pace of population growth were in Africa.
If it stayed constant in years to come, such a rate of population growth would lead to the Canadian population doubling in about 26 years.
The increase seen in international migration is related to efforts by the Government of Canada to ease labour shortages in key sectors of the economy. High job vacancies and labour shortages are occurring in a context where population aging has accelerated in Canada and the unemployment rate remains near record low.
A rise in the number of permanent and temporary immigrants could also represent additional challenges for some regions of the country related to housing, infrastructure and transportation, and service delivery to the population.
FOR the year 2022, Canada welcomed 437,180 immigrants and saw a net increase of the number of non-permanent residents estimated at 607,782.
Both of these numbers represent the highest levels on record, reflecting higher immigration targets and a record-breaking year for the processing of immigration applications at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
The estimated gains in non-permanent residents recorded for 2022 are the highest for a single calendar year for which comparable data are available. Furthermore, it is the first time these gains are superior to those from immigrants over the same period.
All provinces and territories saw a year-over-year increase in the net estimated number of non-permanent residents in 2022, with work and study permits, in addition to the number of asylum claimants, up across the country. This increase is because of a combination of factors, including the aforementioned intent to leverage international migration to help fulfill employment needs across the country and the program created to welcome people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
From October 1 to December 31, 2022, the period representing the fourth quarter of 2022, Canada’s population increased by 273,893 people (+0.7%). This was the highest rate of growth recorded in a fourth quarter since the same period in 1956 (+0.7%).
As was seen for the year 2022, international migration accounted for nearly all growth recorded during the fourth quarter of 2022 (97.7%). This quarter saw the addition of 83,152 immigrants and the most estimated net new non-permanent residents (+196,262) of any fourth quarter for which comparable data exist.