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Canada’s Record Population Growth

Updated: Jan 5

As 2022 draws to a close, Canada’s population has already grown more this year than in any other year since Confederation. In an estimate released last week, Statistics Canada said the country’s population grew by 362,453 people, or 0.9 per cent, between July and October alone. That influx of people over the three-month period was more than the total population growth in all of 2011 and the fastest single-quarter growth rate since the second quarter of 1957 (at the time, Canada's population was 16.7 million people and it increased by 198,000 people; this rapid population growth was related to the high number of births during the post-war baby boom and the high immigration of refugees following the Hungarian Revolution in 1956).

Yvonne Su, an assistant professor in York University’s department of equity studies, says the growing population can help contribute to the economy in a positive way. “Canada’s actually having such an issue filling jobs in major sectors like construction and factories,” she said. “All these labour jobs are in big need of workers and immigrants have filled those spots.” (Source: Globe and Mail)

Kate Choi, director of Western University’s Centre for Research on Social Inequality, said the data show Canada is experiencing a rapid population growth and that it’s beneficial to a long-term plan of growing the economy post-pandemic. “A lot of this population growth is fueled by immigration policies in Canada that are trying to fill a lot of the labour shortages after the pandemic,” she said. (Source: Globe and Mail)

There were 122,145 immigrants in the third quarter of 2022, the second-highest number in any third quarter since 1946, the year quarterly data became available, Statistics Canada said. Last month, Ottawa unveiled plans to admit 500,000 immigrants a year starting in 2025 to address labour-shortage issues. Those include a million job vacancies across the country and an aging work force. The new targets represent a significant increase over the 405,000 immigrants admitted last year.

Konfidis Analysis: Statistics in Context

Herein, we put these record-breaking numbers of new entrants to Canada in context. First, the charts below show the historical annual immigration statistics for Canada and Ontario in context with the three-year forecasted numbers. These charts highlight 2022 as a standout year, as well as the continued outsized immigration targets through 2025 compared to historical statistics.

Of specific note, we also present quarterly Net International Migration* data. This data presents the striking recent amounts of people coming into Canada and Ontario.

Konfidis Insights

Immigration and population growth lead to household formation, the primary demand driver for housing. The makeup of this outsized population growth described herein supports both demand for housing ownership (i.e. the price of homes) and the demand for rental housing alternatives.

With this backdrop, Konfidis continues to see a very compelling landscape for single-family rental ownership in Ontario’s secondary markets as the long-term supply and demand fundamentals that support strong home price appreciation and inflation protection.

Sources: Statistics Canada’s population estimates for the third quarter 2022 here, and Globe and Mail article on this subject is available here.

*Net International Migration to Canada is a multi-part definition; the result is the overseas portion of population change. It comprises inflows (immigrants, returning emigrants and net-non-permanent residents) less the outflows (permanent and temporary emigrants).

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