Immigration is behind Canada’s largest population increase of over a million people
The Canadian government said Canada population increased by more than 1 million people for the first time ever last year.
Statistics Canada said that the country’s population increased from 38,516,138 to 39,566,248 people.
It also recorded the highest annual population growth rate in Canada, at 2.7 percent, since 1957.
Statistics Canada said the increase was driven in part by government efforts to bring immigrants into the country to ease a labor shortage.
But Statistics Canada said the increase in the number of permanent and temporary immigrants could “also present additional challenges to some areas of the country related to housing, infrastructure, transportation and the provision of services to the population”.
According to the press release, international migration accounted for nearly 96 percent of the population growth.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made efforts to attract more immigrants to the country since taking power in 2015. Last year, the government announced a plan to welcome half a million immigrants annually by 2025.
The Canadian government also accepts people affected by conflicts such as the Ukraine war, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and the 2023 earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
On Wednesday, it announced the extension until July of a program offering to temporarily resettle Ukrainians and their family members.
To date, more than 600,000 applications have been approved out of the nearly one million received. More than 130,000 people have arrived in Canada under this initiative.
The previous highest population increase in Canada came in 1957 due to the baby boom after World War II and the movement of refugees following the Hungarian Revolution.
The country welcomed 437,000 immigrants in 2022, while the number of non-permanent residents in the country increased by 607,782, marking a “record year in processing immigration applications,” according to the government’s press release.
The increasing population also means that Canada will rank first among the 38 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in 2022 for population growth while also being the fastest growing country in the Group of Seven according to Statistics Canada.
The government added that if Canada maintained the 2.7 percent increase each year, its population would double in 26 years.