Immigration fuels Canada’s largest population growth of over 1 millionon March 23, 2023 at 12:46 am

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The unprecedented surge in numbers is largely due to immigration, the government says.

Fans in a stadium unfurl the Canadian flagImage source, Getty Images

Canada’s population grew by over a million people for the first time ever in 2022, the government said on Wednesday.

The country’s population increased from 38,516,138 on 1 January, 2022 to 39,566,248 people on 1 January 2023, Statistics Canada said.

It also marked Canada’s highest annual population growth rate – 2.7% – since 1957.

Migration accounted for nearly 96% of the population growth, the agency said.

The increase was in part fuelled by government efforts to recruit migrants to the country to ease labour shortages, Statistics Canada said.

But the surge 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 government said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made efforts to attract more immigrants to the country to fill a gap in its economy due to aging Baby Boomers. Last year, the government announced a plan to welcome 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025.

The Canadian government has also been accepting people affected by conflicts like the Ukraine war, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

The country welcomed 437,000 immigrants in 2022, while the number of non-permanent residents in the country increased by 607,782, accounting for a “record-breaking year for the processing of immigration applications”, according to the agency.

The population increase also means Canada would rank first among the 38 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation for 2022 population growth, while it was also the fastest growing G7 country, Statistics Canada said.

If Canada were to maintain the 2.7% increase each year, its population would double in 26 years, the Canadian government said.

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