Canada’s population grew by more than a million in 2022, driven by immigration, according to the latest statistics on the country’s population growth.
The North American country’s population was estimated at 39,566,248 on January 1, 2023, an increase of of 1,050,110 people within a year.
This marks the first 12-month period in Canada’s history where population grew by more than 1 million people, and the highest annual population growth rate (+2.7 percent) on record since that seen for 1957, according to Statistics Canada.
This previous record population growth rate 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.
In 2022, the reason behind Canada’s record-high population growth was the unprecedented increase in international migration, attributed to efforts by the Government of Canada to ease labor shortages in key sectors of the economy.
High job vacancies and labor shortages are occurring in a context where population aging 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.
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.
The estimated gains in non-permanent residents recorded for 2022 are the highest for a single calendar year, says the Canadian federal statistical agency. For the first time, these gains are superior to those from immigrants over the same period.
All provinces and territories saw a year-over-year increase in the net estimated number of non-permanent residents in 2022, with work and study permits, in addition to the number of asylum claimants, up across the country. This increase is due to a combination of factors, including the government’s policy to recruit migrants to help fulfill the country’s employment needs, and the program created to welcome people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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