March 27, 2019 – Canada welcomed in 2018, the most immigrants in a calendar year since 1913, the latest estimates show.
Statistics Canada says 71,131 new permanent residents came to Canada in the final quarter of 2018, bringing the total for the year to 321,065.
The figure is the most in more than 100 years, with 401,000 immigrants arriving in 1913.
The complete 2018 data shows Canada’s population rose by 528,421 in 2018, with immigration responsible for more than 80 per cent of the figure.
This is the biggest annual increase in Canada’s population since the 1950s.
Canada’s population grew by 1.4 per cent in 2018, the fastest recorded annual growth since 1990 and the strongest growth among all of the G7 countries.
The importance of immigration is further illustrated by the fact that Canada’s natural population growth was just 103,176 in 2018, the lowest since modern records began in the 1940s.
Provincially, seven out of 10 Canadian provinces saw immigration increases in 2018 when compared to 2017, spearheaded by Ontario.
Canada’s largest province saw the number of newcomers increase by more than 25,000, from 111,950 new immigrants to 137,395.
After Ontario, the next biggest increase was seen in British Columbia, where numbers grew by just over 6,500 newcomers, from 38,440 to 44,975.
The figures laid bare the struggle with attracting new immigrants to Canada’s smaller provinces, particularly in the Atlantic region.
While three out of four Atlantic provinces saw immigration increases from 2017 to 2018, the numbers of newcomers remain low given the push to try and bring more people to the region.
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Provincial and federal officials will be hoping to see bigger increases in 2019.
The major anomaly, meanwhile, is Quebec, which has seen immigration declines for the last two years.
While Alberta’s economic struggles go some way to explain why immigration to the oil rich province has stagnated, Quebec’s economy is booming, with business desperate to fill vacancies.
Still, the French-speaking province saw immigration drop from 53,245 in 2016, to 52,400 in 2017 and further in 2018 to 51,115.
Given the Coalition Avenir Quebec provincial government’s plan to reduce immigration further in 2019, respite for businesses struggling to hire staff appears not to be coming anytime soon.
Number of New Permanent Residents by Canadian Province, 2018
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