Who are Migrants?

Migrants include anyone who has immigrated or emigrated and they can be permanent or temporary residents.

Why do People Migrate?

Migration is often determined by a free decision of the migrants themselves, taken fairly frequently not only for economic reasons but also for cultural, technical or scientific motives. As such it is for the most part a clear indication of social, economic and demographic imbalance on a regional or world-wide level, which drives people to emigrate. The roots of the phenomenon can also be traced back to exaggerated nationalism and, in many countries, even to hatred and systematic or violent exclusion of ethnic or religious minorities from society. (Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi, 1)

Statistics on Migration

Canada’s slightly higher population growth since 2006 is a result of small increase in fertility, the number of non-permanent residents and, to a lesser extent, the number of immigrants. Since the beginning of the 2000s, Canada’s population growth has been driven mainly by migratory increase, since natural increase, or the difference between births and deaths, now only accounts for about one-third of this growth. Canada’s substantial migratory increase largely explains why it ranks first for population growth among the G8 countries. The population growth of the United States and of France, for example, is mainly a result of natural increase, with migratory increase being proportionally lower in those countries. See Canadian Census Data.

Canada’s aging population will accelerate between 2011 and 2031 as baby boomers reach the age of 65. In 2026, the first of the baby boomers will reach the age of 80, an age when mortality is high. As a result, the number of deaths will increase significantly.

The medium growth scenario used in population projections assumes an immigration rate of 7.5 immigrants per 1,000 population and a fertility rate of 1.7 children per women. This scenario indicates that starting in 2031, migratory increase could account for more than 80% of Canada’s population growth, compared to about 67% currently (Figure 1).

Without a sustained level of immigration or a substantial increase in fertility, Canada’s population growth could, within 20 years, be close to zero. See Canadian Census Data.




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