Last Updated on January 24, 2019
Canada’s population recorded its lowest level of growth in more than 15-years. Statistics Canada reported that at 35,851,800 our population increased by only 308,100, in the year ending July 1, 2015. The primary reason was due to immigration policy. Approximately 239,800 immigrants were admitted to Canada during the 12-month period, down from 267,900 the previous year.
The shortfall, close to 30,000 immigrants, places Canada’s per capita rate of immigration to .66%, the lowest under the Harper government and far lower than the .8% that was predominant prior to 2006.
The Statistics Canada report also confirms what demographers have long been predicting. Senior citizens now outnumber children for the first time across the country. As of July 1, 2015, people 65 and older made up 16.1 per cent of the Canadian population, slightly surpassing the 16 per cent who were 14 and younger. According to preliminary estimates, out of 35,851,800 Canadians, there are 5,780,900 seniors and 5,749,400 children.
Projections indicate that by July 1, 2024, seniors will account for 20 per cent of the Canadian population, compared with 16.3 per cent who will be children 14 and younger. Statscan estimated there were 8,100 centenarians, with nearly 88 per cent of them being women.
Canada’s net labour market growth is predominantly dependent on immigration. At 60.8%, it is also our primary source of population growth. It appears almost certain that by 2030 Canada will be entirely reliant on immigration for both.
Immigration remains essential in most OECD countries, but especially in Canada, in part to offset demographic developments, including low fertility rates, an aging population, a growing elderly dependency ratio, a shrinking labour force and high out migration rates. While current government policy advocates for Canada’s highest levels of immigration in 5-years, the latest numbers from Statistics Canada do not corroborate this and points to a much different stand than what is being publicly stated.