The share of immigrants in Canada’s population has reached its highest point in the G-7 country’s 150-year history, new census data released by the statistics agency showed on Wednesday.
23% of Canadians were immigrants in 2021, according to the census, and Statistics Canada projects the proportion to reach between 29% and 34% by 2041.
The Government of Canada wants to attract more than 430,000 new permanent residents this year, up about 7.4% from its record 401,000 in 2021.
India, the Philippines and China were the top three countries, respectively, for recent immigrants to Canada, according to the census.
Newcomers have become the main driver of Canada’s population growth and the country’s economic engine in a context of an aging population.
From 2016 to 2021, immigrants accounted for four-fifths of the growth in Canada’s labor market, the statistics agency said. But they still reported higher unemployment rates than nonimmigrants and were more likely to have low incomes.
Data released Wednesday also highlights Canada’s shift toward temporary residents to meet labor market needs.