Canada’s population reaches 40 million people thanks to immigration

Julia Hornstein
Updated: Aug, 21, 2023
  • Published: June 19, 2023

Canada’s population has surpassed 40 million people.

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Statistics Canada has a “population clock”, which estimates Canada’s population in real time based on a number of factors like recent trends for births, deaths, and migration data. The clock hit 40 million today just before 3 pm on Friday June 16.

“This is an exciting milestone for Canada. It is a strong signal that Canada remains a dynamic and welcoming country, full of potential” said chief statistician Anil Arora in a media statement.

Canada’s population growth rate currently stands at 2.7 per cent, which is the highest annual growth rate since 1957, when Canada was experiencing its post-war baby boom.

Canada’s population reached 30 million in 1997 and could reach 50 million as early as 2043 if the current trends continue, according to Statistics Canada.

Last year, Canada’s population increased by a record of 1.05 million people. Statistics Canada reported that 96 per cent of that increase was due to international (permanent and temporary) migration.

In 2022, Canada welcomed 437,180 immigrants into the country, reflecting Canada’s high immigration targets.

Immigration Levels Plan

Immigration is one of the main way the country deals with its demographic challenges. Canada has an aging population, and the natural birth rate is not high enough to grow the population itself. As a result, Canada needs immigrants to help maintain and grow the country’s workforce.

Immigration accounts for almost 100% of Canada’s labor force growth. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, by 2023, immigrants are projected to be about 30% of Canada’s population.

Under Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan, Canada plans to welcome over 460,000 new immigrants each year. Canada’s immigration goals are to strengthen the economy, reunite families and help refugees.

In 2023, Canada’s newcomer target is 465,000 new permanent residents. This goal will increase to 485,000 in 2024 and 500,000 in 2024.

Economic immigration is the biggest category under this plan, followed by family class immigration, demonstrating Canada’s commitment to reuniting families. The final category is the humanitarian and refugee category, which is to remain above 70,000 annually over the next three years.

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