High Immigration Rates Push Population Growth in Maritime Provinces
Compared to the rest of Canada, Maritime provinces haven't seen much population growth over the years. In fact, some of these provinces have a shrinking population. All that's changed, though. Recent estimates peg Prince Edward Island as the fastest-growing province in the country. Population estimates for 2017 show immense growth in PEI thanks to increased immigration. Promoting immigration has had a positive effect on demographics and economy of what was once an aging population. For more information on immigration and work in Canada, contact a permanent resident lawyer.
According to a CBC News article, Statistics Canada recently released national population growth estimates. These estimates place PEI's growth rate at 1.71 percent, compared to 1.22 percent for Canada as a whole. These estimates suggest that PEI has surpassed its population goal of 150,000, and that immigration played a large role in this push.
Immigration Driving Numbers
The big push behind this growth? A surge in immigration starting in early 2016.
Over 2,000 immigrants arrived in PEI early in the year. Their arrival accounts for almost 90% of the growth from July 2016 to July 2017. PEI had a similar surge in 2010, and 2017 is on track to maintain the momentum that began last year.
In fact, the changing needs of these new immigrants has the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada asking the federal government to help with resources. Increasing numbers of immigrants are arriving with strong English skills, which means their focus is then on finding a job.
Statistics Canada based these estimates on census data and provincial population records. But census data doesn't provide a complete perspective. Statistics Canada thus uses other recorded data to estimate growth for each province. By including data on births, deaths, and immigration, they can provide a more accurate estimate.
Yet it is possible that Statistics Canada overestimated population growth rates. With the upcoming 2018 reconciled data (which incorporates further data), PEI may not have actually surpassed its target population goal in July. It's also worth noting that census numbers are still based on the 2011 census.
That said, the increase in immigration rates over the past year are a good indicator of this growth. PEI should be able to reach its target population goal by the end of the year, if it hasn’t already.
A Boost To The Economy
The PEI government set a target population goal of 150,000 to help bolster its economy. As with Canada at large, the province had an aging population with fewer working-age residents. This is only exacerbated by more Baby Boomers entering retirement. But thanks to immigration to PEI, more young people are able to balance the aging population.
This ensures a young workforce looking for employment. In turn, this supports job creation for new and returning islanders, and boosts the province’s economy.
For help with the immigration process and information about economic opportunities in Canada, contact a permanent resident lawyer.