Census: Newcomers Drive Population Growth

Immigrants account for two-thirds of Canada’s population growth and this is projected to increase to 80 per cent by 2031, according to StatsCan.

By Tobi Cohen, Postmedia News (published on Canada.com)

Ottawa — Canada is well on its way toward becoming a nation of immigrants — figuratively and literally.

While it’s no secret that immigrants have helped build this country and Canada has long celebrated its rich multicultural history, 2011 census figures released Wednesday by Statistics Canada indicate two-thirds of overall population growth is being fuelled by newcomers.

Unlike the United States, where growth is still driven by natural increases in population — the difference between births and deaths — only one-third of Canada’s growth is due to fertility.

It’s a trend that’s been going on for about a decade due to the rapid decrease in fertility that began in the late 1960s and 1970s and the increase in the number of deaths due to an aging population.

“As a result, the numbers of births and deaths have converged since the end of the Baby Boom in Canada, and migratory increase has taken on an increasingly important role in recent Canadian population growth,” Statistics Canada’s census report concluded.

Population projections suggest the trend will continue as boomers die off and that by 2031, immigration will account for more than 80 per cent of Canada’s overall population growth.

“Without a sustained level of immigration or a substantial increase in fertility, Canada’s population growth could, within 20 years, be close to zero,” the report found.

Read more here.