Over 300,000 Immigrants Came to Canada in 2018, The Highest Number Since 1913
The numbers are in: according to Statics Canada, 321,065 immigrants arrived in Canada in 2018, the highest immigration number since before the First World War.
The final quarter of 2018 brought 71,131 immigrants to the country. All in all, accounting for non-permanent residents, refugees, and asylum seekers, Canada’s population grew by 528,421 people. According to Statistics Canada, 80.5% of this population growth is due to international migration.
This level of growth has not been seen since the 1950s and marks a significant milestone for the country. This is the largest number of immigrants the country’s seen since 1913 when Canada welcomed 401,000 immigrants. It’s also the fourth-largest in historical data that dates to 1852.
What’s more, despite indicators of a sluggish economy, this population growth has helped boost employment; most of these newcomers are of working age.
These impressive numbers really drive home the importance of immigration for a country with an ageing population. With 80% of the year’s population growth coming from migration, it’s hard to make a case that the country doesn’t need newcomers.
The federal government seems to agree, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented that Canadians are still “overwhelmingly in favour” of immigration during a recent news conference in Mississauga.
Still, the government is taking steps to strengthen border security, as the new federal budget has confirmed significant investment (estimated at $1.18 billion) in a new border-enforcement strategy.
This strategy is aimed at “detecting, intercepting and removing irregular migrants,” according to Global News, and seems designed to address concerns over border security. The budget also includes money to help speed up refugee claim processing, as well as greater resources for immigration and refugee legal aid.
Irregular border crossings are still a point of contention for certain critics of Canada’s immigration system, and this budget item may help address common complaints surrounding asylum seekers, case processing, and the ongoing backlogs facing Canada’s system.
It’s amazing to see Canada open its arms to so many newcomers, and it’s even more amazing to see the impact these people can have on their new home.