By Global News |
Canada has seen its highest population growth rate since the height of the baby boom, mostly driven by immigration, according to Statistics Canada data released Wednesday.
As of July 1, the number of people living in Canada sat at an estimated 38.9 million, an increase of 0.7 per cent, or 284,982 people, from April 1, 2022.
The estimate, marking the highest pace of quarterly growth since 1957, represents an increase of more than 3,100 people per day.
According to Statistics Canada, international migration accounted for 94.5 per cent of this growth, an increase of 269,305 people.
“This was the highest increase from international migration since comparable records have existed,” noted Statistics Canada, adding that the majority of growth came from the largest increase in the number of non-permanent residents (+157,310) on record.
“This was due to high numbers of asylum claimants and permit holders (work, study, and other), including people affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” it added.
Statistics Canada also said the number of immigrants in the second quarter of 2022 (118,114) was the highest in any second quarter since comparable records have existed.
“This follows recent increases in Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada targets and could be the result of catch-up in growth following lower levels of immigration early in the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
Usha George, a professor at Toronto Metropolitan University and the director of the Toronto Metropolitan Centre for Immigration and Settlement (TMCIS), argued Canada will be taking in more immigrants because of the declining birth rate across the country.
“Definitely immigration is going to be the only source of population growth in Canada,” said George in an interview.
She referred to projections made by Statistics Canada released on Sept. 8 stating that in 2041, half of the Canadian population will be made up of immigrants and their Canadian-born children.
According to Statistics Canada, “immigration is projected to remain the main driver of population growth over the coming decades, continuing a trend that began in the early 1990s.”
George said this is important for the economy, but Canada is not prepared for a growing population when it comes to jobs and housing.
“We have a crunch in terms of housing. We also have an issue around appropriate employment for immigrants as they come in,” she said.