Immigration to Canada: 2021 Census data released


Immigrants made up nearly a quarter of all people in Canada in 2021 and are expected to make up a third of the country’s population by 2041, according to the latest version of census data.

The proportion of immigrants is the highest since Confederation, with 23% of the country, or more than 8.3 million people, who were or had ever been landed immigrants or permanent residents.

It is also the highest proportion among the G7 countries.

According to Statistics Canada, immigration is the main driver of population growth, in part because of the aging population and low fertility rates in the country.

The federal government has pledged to bring in record numbers of people to fill labor shortages, with plans to welcome 431,645 newcomers to Canada this year.

« I think it should come as no surprise that we have embraced immigration as a strategy for growth in Canada, » Immigration Minister Sean Fraser told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa.

Immigrants accounted for four out of five new workers in the labor force between 2016 and 2021.

Not only that, Fraser said, but immigrants will help pay for schools, hospitals and maintaining basic social services as Canada’s population ages.

Previously, the majority of immigrants to Canada came from Europe, but now most immigrants come from Asia, including the Middle East.

According to the data, one in five people coming to Canada was born in India, making it the top country of birth for newcomers.

The last time such a large proportion of people came from the same place was during the 1971 census, when more than 20% of immigrants came from the UK.

The overall share of immigrants from Europe has since declined, falling to just 10.1% in 2021, from 61.6% in 1971.

The census did not ask questions about why people from certain regions chose to come to Canada, said Tina Chui, director of diversity and socio-cultural statistics at Statistics Canada, but other studies give insights. clues.

“Joining family, economic opportunities, those are kind of the reasons people have chosen to come to Canada,” she said at a press conference on Wednesday. The large number of international students from India could also be a factor, she said.

Toronto-based immigration lawyer Peter Rekai said well-educated Indian applicants generally do very well in the Express Entry system, Canada’s main economic immigration program.

The system favors people with a good education, an excellent command of the official languages ​​and work experience in Canada.

“Put it all together and they get enough points to qualify for this program and also to be competitive,” Rekai said in an interview Wednesday.

Many Indian applicants come to Canada on a work or study visa, which gives them a head start when it comes to their application for permanent residency, he said.

The census shows that the two-step immigration process is becoming more common in Canada. More than a third of immigrants who arrived in the past five years went through the two-step process, compared to just 18% of those who landed between 2001 and 2005.

Canada offers a level of stability and a relatively short path to permanent residency and citizenship compared to many other countries, making it an attractive destination for newcomers, Rekai said.

“Canada offers a better way and a faster way than any other country,” he said.

All that immigration in recent years means almost a third of children in Canada have at least one foreign-born parent, up from 26.7% in 2011 and 29.2% in 2016.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 26, 2022.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on October 26, 2022.


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