Canada sees record population growth as immigration leaps



Canada saw record-high population growth last year due to a surge in immigrants and temporary residents, the government statistical agency said adding that if the trend continues the nation will double its population in 26 years.

As of January 1, the country’s population hit 39,566,248 after adding 1,050,110 people over the previous 12 months — a sizeable gain the likes of which has not been seen since the post-war baby boom of the 1950s.

In the present day, however, international mi-gration accounted for nearly all of the growth (95.9 percent) as Ottawa sought to bring in more and more immigrants to fill a labour shortage.

“This marks the first 12-month period in Can-ada’s history where population grew by over 1 mil-lion people,” Statistics Canada said in a statement.

With an increase of 2.7 percent, Canada last year by far led other Group of Seven industrialized nations and ranked among the top 20 in the world for population growth, the agency said.

Almost all countries with a higher pace of popu-lation growth were in Africa, it noted. Faced with near-record low unemployment (5.0 percent) and an aging population — with one in seven people in Canada between the ages of 55 and 64 years — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s liberal government doubled its target for welcoming newcomers since coming to power in 2015.

A record 437,180 immigrants landed in Canada in 2022, and that number is scheduled to rise to 500,000 per year by 2025.

The number of non-permanent residents granted work or study permits in Canada also spiked last year to 607,782. That was partly due to the welcoming of many thousands of people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said Statistics Canada.—APP