Canada's Population Hits 40 Million with Immigration Fueling Growth

June 19, 2023


  • Kelia Losa Reinoso

On Friday, June 16, Statistics Canada announced that Canada had reached a significant milestone, surpassing the 40 million mark in population. This news confirms the country's continued growth and serves as a testament to Canada's appeal as a destination for individuals from around the world.

The country's population growth has been unprecedented, with the record-setting pace leading to this achievement on June 16.

Utilizing their innovative "population clock" model, Statistics Canada calculated the momentous occasion occurring a few minutes before 3 p.m. ET on Friday.

Chief Statistician Anil Arora enthusiastically stated: "This is an exciting milestone for Canada. It is a strong signal that Canada remains a dynamic and welcoming country, full of potential."

Immigration Drives Canada's Population to 40 Million

Amidst concerns of population decline in various nations, Canada stands out as a leader in population growth among the G7 countries. Currently, Canada's population growth rate is at 2.7%.

This represents the highest level since 1957, when both immigration and the baby boom contributed to a notable 3.3% growth. An unprecedented milestone was reached between January 2021 and 2022, with Canada adding over one million individuals to its population for the first time.

The driving force behind this exceptional growth is predominantly attributed to permanent and temporary migration, accounting for a staggering 96% of the total growth recorded in 2022.

This emphasizes the critical role immigration plays in fueling Canada's population expansion. With the current trend projected to continue, experts estimate that Canada's population could reach 50 million by 2043.

According to the monthly immigration statistics from IRCC:

  • In the first quarter of 2023 Canada:
    • welcomed 1,434,716 temporary residents,
    • granted 158,982 permanent residencies in Canada, and
    • welcomed 84,720 new citizens.
  • In 2021, Canada accepted 137,119 new citizens.
  • That number became 375,355 in 2022.
  • Recently, during a Citizenship celebration, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced welcoming 13,500 new citizens in just one week.

Canada's remarkable achievement in reaching 40 million residents reflects its reputation as a dynamic and welcoming nation, offering opportunities for individuals and families seeking a better future. The continuous growth fueled by immigration reaffirms Canada's position as a destination of choice, contributing to its vibrant society and diverse cultural landscape.

Current Population Growth

The significance of attracting newcomers to Canada is underscored by the need to fill job vacancies left by the retiring baby boomer generation. Professor Myer Siemiatycki, Politics and Public Administration at UofT, highlights the economic importance of immigrants, stating: "From an economic perspective, newcomers have been really important both to fill jobs that are here and to connect us with the economies out into the wider world."

The population growth is not confined to specific regions but has been witnessed nationwide. In 2022, every province and territory, except for the Northwest Territories, recorded a population increase. Canada's position as the leader in population growth among the G7 nations has remained consistent over the past two decades.

If the current population growth rate remains constant, Canada's population could potentially double in approximately 26 years. As of 2021, over 8.3 million people, representing nearly one-quarter (23%) of the population, were current or former landed immigrants or permanent residents in Canada. This proportion is the highest since Confederation, surpassing the previous record of 22.3% in 1921, and is the highest among the G7 countries.

In addition to the overall population growth, Canada's Indigenous population is experiencing a notably faster growth rate than the national average. Between 2016 and 2021, the Indigenous population increased by 9.4%, surpassing the growth of the non-Indigenous population over the same period (+5.3%). The 2021 Census counted 1.8 million Indigenous people, accounting for 5% of Canada's total population, up from 4.9% in 2016.

The ongoing growth of Canada's population, fueled by international migration and the rising Indigenous population, exemplifies the country's dynamic and diverse nature. It reinforces Canada's position as a destination for individuals seeking economic opportunities, cultural vibrancy, and a better future.

Meeting Future Immigration Target

Canada has reached a significant milestone, with its population surpassing 40 million, signifying an impressive historical moment. This achievement prompts celebration and contemplation as potential immigrants reflect on Canada's growth trajectory and look toward the future.

According to Siemiatycki, this population milestone presents opportunities and challenges for Canada, highlighting the nation's ongoing attractiveness for newcomers.

As Canada celebrates this population milestone, it aligns with the government's commitment to increasing immigration. The current wave of new immigrants is part of Ottawa's pledge to welcome 500,000 individuals annually by 2025. This forward-looking approach reflects Canada's recognition of immigrants' valuable contributions to the country's economy and society.

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