Canada has added over a million new residents in 6 months, marking the fastest population growth in nearly 70 years

new residents in 6 months, marking the fastest population

As of April 1, 2024, Canada’s population has surpassed 41 million due to its exceptional rate of growth. Immigration has been the main driver of this increase in population of almost a million compared to June 2023. Numerous Canadian industries, including housing, healthcare, the labor market, and educational institutions, have been significantly impacted by this increase.

Immigration: The Main Driver

Nearly 243,000 individuals entered Canada between January and April 2024, the great majority of whom were temporary and permanent residents, according to Statistics Canada. This wave of immigration demonstrates how Canada’s population and economy continue to grow at the expense of immigration. 

Uneven Distribution Across Provinces

The population boom has not been evenly distributed across Canada. Provinces like Alberta have experienced significant growth, while others have seen more moderate increases. 

Alberta, for instance, has continued to attract new residents due to its robust economy and job opportunities, particularly in industries such as energy, technology, and agriculture.

Due to the strong need for skilled labor in these areas, the Atlantic provinces—especially Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick—saw unprecedented levels of permanent immigration.

 According to Statistics Canada, the population of Alberta increased from 4,800,768 on January 1 to 4,849,906 as of April 1.Interprovincial migration into Alberta from other regions of the nation than out of Alberta for other provinces and territories, was largely responsible for Alberta’s expansion.

Record Number of Non-Permanent Residents

As of April 2024, Canada had a record 2.79 million non-permanent residents (NPRs), including work and study permit holders, asylum claimants, and protected persons. The number of NPRs increased by 131,810 in the first quarter of 2024 alone. This means one in every 16 people walking Canada’s streets is a “temporary” immigrant; in some large metro areas, the NPR share is significantly higher.

However, without temporary residents, the population growth rate would have been halved, illustrating their significant contribution.Without temporary residents, data shows that the growth rate in the first quarter would have been just 0.3%.The population of Canada is increasing more quickly than it has in almost 70 years.

Decline in Study Permit Holders

Despite the overall increase in population, the number of study permit holders saw a notable decline. Over 24,000 fewer study permits were issued in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. This decrease is partly attributed to new requirements for international students, including the need for a Provincial Attestation Letter from their designated learning institution, which has slowed the approval process.

Ambitious Immigration Targets

Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan for 2024-2026 sets ambitious targets for welcoming new residents. The plan aims to bring in 485,000 permanent residents by the end of 2024, rising to 500,000 in 2025. These targets reflect Canada’s strategic approach to managing population growth while addressing labor market needs and supporting economic development. However, there are concerns about the strain on public services and infrastructure, particularly in housing and healthcare.

Effect of High Population

Other governmental levels are having issues as a result of the federal government’s careless handling of immigration. Without any prior notification, collaboration, or planning with the provinces, let alone the cities where the majority of newcomers settle, there was a tremendous surge in NPRs. Federal ministers have finally conceded, after previously ignoring the matter, that rising immigration has made the home affordability crisis worse and increased strain on already overburdened public services.

Economic and Housing Challenges

Housing and infrastructure are facing issues due to the swift increase in population. In many urban locations, the rising demand for housing has resulted in higher costs and decreased affordability. To accommodate the expanding population, governments at all levels are under pressure to build infrastructure, including facilities for healthcare, education, and transportation.

Decline in Economic Output Per Person

Canada’s growing population has not only affected public services and housing demand, but it has also resulted in a decline in prosperity as indicated by the value of economic output per person. The GDP per person declined by at least 2% nationally last year, and 2024 is expected to see a recurrence of that year’s results. Even though Canada’s population is growing faster than that of any other developed nation, they are becoming poorer. Additionally, there is a need to guarantee that immigrants’ skills are acknowledged and put to use as well as their successful integration into the labor market.

Managing Temporary Residents

According to IRCC, the inclusion of temporary residents in the Plan will serve as a “soft cap” for individuals with work permits, study permits, or temporary resident (visitor) visas, among other types of temporary residents.In addition, two Provincial Nominee Program-only draws and one Canadian Experience Class in the last month have targeted individuals who are probably already temporary residents living and working in Canada for Express Entry. 

In order to control new development, the IRCC placed an intake cap on the majority of applications for international student permits on January 22, 2024. It is anticipated that the cap will lead to about 360,000 authorised study permits by 2024.

Each province and territory will receive a share of the cap from the IRCC, which they will then divide among their designated learning institutions (DLIs). By March 31, 2024, at the latest, provinces and territories must set up a procedure for providing attestation letters to students.

The IRCC hopes to satisfy immigration and diversity targets, process applications much more quickly, and enhance office tools through the growing use of AI.

Future Immigration Plans

In order to retain more qualified professionals who can fill labor shortages and boost the economy, six categories were chosen for these kinds of draws.The same categories are the focus of IRCC’s 2024 ambitions. They will, however, reevaluate and modify the categories selected the previous year to better suit the evolving demands of the Canadian labor market. In 2024, this implies that new categories of people will have the opportunity to be eligible for category-based Express Entry drawings.

Canada’s population milestone of 41 million is a testament to its appeal as a destination for immigrants and its capacity to grow and adapt. While this rapid growth presents challenges, it also offers opportunities for economic development, cultural enrichment, and social innovation. As Canada navigates this dynamic landscape, effective policies and inclusive practices will be essential in ensuring that the benefits of population growth are widely shared and sustainable.

For more detailed insights, you can remain updated on TheCanadaTimes

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