What should be the target levels for immigrants living in Canada?

There is a growing recognition that the levels of immigration, temporary foreign workers, and international students may be more than our country can absorb. This view is now recognized by […]
Published on January 19, 2024

There is a growing recognition that the levels of immigration, temporary foreign workers, and international students may be more than our country can absorb. This view is now recognized by many non-partisan banks and economists. Fortunately, the Liberal government seems to acknowledge this as a growing problem. Since 1991, the number of immigrants has risen dramatically. In 1991, the immigrant population totalled 16.1% of the population. Today, it totals over 23% of the population. Annual numbers have risen from 120,000 per year to 500,000 per year. Most pundits now recognize that these numbers have had a negative impact on the economy by forcing down wages, while at the same time pushing up housing costs.

To put this in context, it may help to compare it to other countries:

  • USA – 13.6%
  • UK – 14.4%
  • Germany – 17.35%
  • New Zealand – 27%
  • Australia – 30-%

Canadians recognize that immigration has been positive for Canada as a whole, but want levels to be more sustainable. Going forward, how best is it to manage the levels and what should those levels be? As an illustration of how that has changed over the years, above is a chart from Stats Canada which shows the percentage of immigrants over time. Note this chart only includes immigrants and does not include Temporary Workers or International Students (who are now allowed to all work full time).

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The target level for immigrants living in Canada should be:

 

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