In 2021, more than 8.3 million people, or almost one-quarter (23.0 per cent) 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 per cent, and the highest among the G7, according to a new report released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.
“Given that the population of Canada continues to age and fertility is below the population replacement level, today immigration is the main driver of population growth. If these trends continue, based on Statistics Canada’s recent population projections, immigrants could represent from 29.1 per cent to 34.0 per cent of the population of Canada by 2041,” said the federal agency.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the contribution that immigrants make to Canada’s labour market. With job vacancies in late 2021 hitting 80 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels, and the working population aging, immigration is even more critical to the labour market than ever before. Recent immigrants, whose age structure is younger than the general population, constitute a pool of workers who can help mitigate the impacts of labour shortages in a number of sectors and regions across the country. From 2016 to 2021, immigrants accounted for four-fifths of labour force growth. More and more immigrants have pre-admission experience in Canada, and a large share of recent immigrants were selected for their ability to contribute to Canada’s economy.”
The report said just over 1.3 million new immigrants settled permanently in Canada from 2016 to 2021, the highest number of recent immigrants recorded in a Canadian census.
Over half of recent immigrants living in Canada were admitted under the economic category. Of these 748,120 economic immigrants, just over one-third (34.5 per cent) were selected through skilled worker programs and another one-third (33.6 per cent) through the Provincial Nominee Program, said StatsCan.
(Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and only Canadian)
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