Canada’s population hits 35 million, thanks to immigration

Births and immigration in Canada from 1850 to 2000
Births and immigration in Canada from 1850 to 2000 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Statistics Canada’s population clock has ticked past the 35 million mark, a number that has less to do with “natural” causes and more to do with immigration.
Canada receives on average 7.5 immigrants per thousand people.
“This immigration rate is one of the highest in industrialized countries,” said Laurent Martel, of the demography division of Statistics Canada. “It’s twice what the U.S. receives every year.”
Martel said that while Canada was recently named the fastest growing nation in the G8, that growth rate would be in decline without the roughly 249,000 immigrants Canada receives each year.
“Natural increase just explains a third,” Martel said, pointing to Canada’s children per woman rate of 1.63, based on a 2010 report.
Globally, the population has surpassed the 7-billion mark and a recent report by the UN suggested that we prepare for the silver-hair tsunami — a global population that is expected to live longer. It came with a warning that an older population could either be a burden or blessing, depending on whether or not countries prepare for it.
Martel estimated Canada will break the 40 million mark by 2026, and 50 million by 2054.
And while Martel said we’re one of the younger countries in the G8 — with a median age of 39.9 — Canada will get old. Fast.
“In the next 20 years we’re going to age quite rapidly,” he said.
Thirty years ago there were six workers for every retiree. Last year that number was five.
By 2031 it will be just three, a workplace cliff that is one of the lingering effects of the baby boomer generation.
It also explains why we may take a little longer to reach 50 million people, which Martel estimated would happen in 2054, a mark Martel laughed about.
“I’ll probably be dead.”
Reprinted with permission from the Toronto Star.

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