Canada’s population grow by one million in a year for first time in history

Canada’s population has grown by one million people in a year for the first time in its history – almost entirely due to immigration.

Official figures showed the population of Canada rocketed by 1,050,110 to 39,566,248 on 1 January this year.

Statistics Canada said international migration accounted for nearly all growth recorded – almost 96 per cent – and warned that if the same level of growth continues, the country’s population could double in 26 years.

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It said Canada is by far leading the G7 countries for population growth in 2022, as it has been the case for many years, while 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 per cent for the year 2022.

Canada's population grew by over a million in a year.Canada's population grew by over a million in a year.
Canada's population grew by over a million in a year.

Compared to all other countries’ most recent figures, Statistics Canada said the population growth rate of 2.7 per cent last year would put it among the top 20 in the world. Almost all countries with a higher pace of population growth were in Africa.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has launched a bid to attract more immigrants to fill skills shortages since he took power in 2015. Last year, the government announced a plan to welcome half a million immigrants a year by 2025, while it has also launched initiatives to take in refugees from Ukraine, as well as people affected by the Taliban takeover and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, as well as some people affected by the earthquake in Turkey.

The news comes as Canada said it is extending the deadline on a visa program for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion to become temporary residents.

The deadline had been set for this month, but now Ukrainians and their families have until 15 July to apply for a visa in the programme. Those with visas will be allowed to travel to Canada until 31 March 2024, and be able to “extend or adjust their temporary status” until then.

Statistics Canada said: “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 ageing 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.”

The previously highest rate of population growth - 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.

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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.



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