Immigration accounts for over 94% of Canada’s population growth in Q2 of 2022

Vimal Sivakumar
Published: September 29, 2022

Statistics Canada (StatsCan) recently published its population estimates for the second quarter (April to June) of 2022. Along with the raw estimated population growth figure, the report also indicated the significant influence that immigration had on Canada’s population increase over this period.

Q2 population estimates released by StatsCan

Canada's population was estimated at 38,929,902 people on July 1, an increase of 0.7% from the Q1 figure released on April 1st, 2022.

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Note: Estimate is based on 2016 Census counts and is adjusted for census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated reserves. Additionally, it is important to note that this estimate includes the population growth estimates for the period from May 10, 2016, until the date of the estimate in 2021

The causes of the estimated growth

International migration is said to be the primary driver of the most recent estimated increase in Canada’s population, accounting for 94.5% of the overall growth (269,305 people).

Newcomers to Canada from around the world have not been this big of a catalyst for an increase in Canada’s population since Q3 of 2019, a time when international migration accounted for 175,907 new members of Canada’s population. In fact, the 118,114 immigrants that came to Canada during Q2 of 2022 are the most the country has seen since comparable records have existed.

Diving deeper into StatsCan’s estimate, it becomes clear that non-permanent residents — including asylum claimants, work and study permit holders and victims of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — made up most of the new additions to Canada’s population in the second quarter of 2022 (+157,310).

Details about StatsCan’s population estimate

This estimated increase means that the Canadian population has grown by 284,982 people in the last quarter, representing an increase of over 3,100 Canadians every day.

This population estimate represents the largest single-quarter increase in the country’s population since Newfoundland and Labrador (at the time, known as just Newfoundland) was added to the Confederation in 1949.

StatsCan’s latest population estimate also denotes the highest population growth rate since the third quarter of 1957, around the height of the baby boom (+0.8%).

Key takeaways from StatsCan’s most recent estimate

The impact of international migration on Canada’s estimated population growth was to be expected, as it aligns closely with increased immigration targets set by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

After observing lower levels of immigration early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada is aiming to welcome record-high levels of newcomers to support its economy amid an aging natural population and low birth rate.

Canada is seeking to welcome over 430,000 new permanent residents per year, meaning that it is reasonable to expect international migration to play an increasingly significant role in Canada’s population growth over the coming years.

Looking ahead

To further showcase this focus on immigration, Canada will provide another update on its immigration strategy when it tables its Immigration Levels Plan for 2023 through 2025 by November 1, 2022.

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