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Immigrants will comprise a growing share of Canada’s population: Statscan

January 25, 2017

Globe and Mail | Canada will increasingly be a nation of immigrants, new population projections show.

Nearly half of the country’s population will likely be immigrants or children of immigrants by 2036, a Statistics Canada study estimates.

If current immigration levels continue in the years ahead, immigrants and the second-generation population could comprise nearly one in two people in the country, with estimates ranging from 44.2 per cent to 49.7 per cent – up from 38.2 per cent in 2011.

Immigrants have accounted for a growing share of Canada’s population since the 1990s, amid steady immigration levels, increasing numbers of deaths and low fertility rates. The share of immigrants in the population will likely “continue to increase until 2036 and could be almost twice as high as in 1871,” the agency said.

For the first time, Statscan also released detailed language projections. They show that by 2036, more than a quarter of the population will have a mother tongue other than English and French, a growing share from current levels.

The immigrant population will still be concentrated in Canada’s largest cities: Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Toronto will see the country’s highest share of immigrants in its population, at between 46 per cent and 52.8 per cent.

The composition of the immigrant population will also shift. More than half of immigrants in Canada would be Asian-born by 2036, if recent trends continue, up from 44.8 per cent in 2011. At the same time, the share of European immigrants will decline by about half, to about 16 per cent.

More people will belong to a visible minority. In the next two decades, the share of the working-age population (aged 15 to 64) who are members of a visible minority will reach up to 40 per cent, from 19.6 per cent in 2011.

The portion of the working-age population who are part of a visible minority group “would increase in all areas of the country between now and 2036,” the paper said, adding that South Asians will remain the group with the most people.

The total share of immigrants in Canada’s population is expected to reach up to 30 per cent, from 20.7 per cent in 2011.

The paper shows a changing portrait of Canada, which has its 150 anniversary this year. Its 1867 census, conducted four years after Confederation, showed 16 per cent of the country’s 3.7 million population was born abroad. Most immigrants at the time came from the British Isles, the U.S. and Germany.

Among the official languages, the share of people whose first language is English is projected to grow, while the share of those speaking French as their mother tongue is likely to decline.

The projections are based on population models from the 2011 National Household Survey. These projections are not predictions, the agency cautions, but rather “a tool to show how the ethnocultural and language compositions of the Canadian population could evolve in [the] coming years based on various growth scenarios.”

See the original article here.

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