Canada Has Second Largest Immigrant Population In Developed World -StatCan

Among the advanced economies, only Australia has more foreign born residents as a portion of its total population than Canada

Canada is behind only Australia in the relative size of its foreign born population, according to a new Statistics Canada report. Among the G8, Canada’s foreign born component, at 20.6 percent of the total population, is the largest.

The statistics follow the trend in recent years of Australia followed by Canada having the highest per capita immigration rates in the world.

Public opinion in the two countries, as well as in Finland and South Korea, has been the most accepting of immigration among the advanced economies.

The Statcan report shows that about 1,162,900 foreign-born individuals entered Canada between 2006 and 2011 and that combined they make up 17.2 percent of Canada’s total foreign-born population.

Among this group, 56.9 percent came from Asia and 78 percent are visible minorities. This is a reverse of the situation prior to 1970, when only 8.5 percent of the foreign born population was from Asia and 12.4 percent were visible minorities.

Canada to Keep Immigration Level at 250,000 in 2013

International students in Vancouver, Canada. CIC is seeking to increase the percentage of immigrants admitted under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), which allows temporary foreign workers and international students in Canada to apply for permanent residence if they have Canadian work experience (CICS News)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced today that it will keep immigration levels at 240,000-265,000 in 2013, for the seventh straight year. The maintenance of immigration numbers from previous years amidst a growing Canadian population means Canada will have a lower immigration rate as a percentage of its population, and rebuff calls by several prominent organizations to increase immigration levels to one percent of Canada’s population.

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said earlier this year that Canada would hold off on increasing immigration levels until the country does a better job of bringing immigrant employment and income rates up to the Canadian average, and until public sentiment, which in some recent opinion polls weighs against increases in immigration levels, supports higher levels.

CIC said that it also intends to increase the number of new permanent residents admitted through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program from 6,000 in 2011 to 10,000 in 2013.

The Canadian Experience Class was created in 2008 to allow individuals residing in Canada on temporary resident visas to transition to permanent residence. Foreign temporary workers with at least two years of Canadian work experience, and foreign graduates of Canadian post-secondary institutions with at least one year of Canadian work experience are eligible to immigrate under the program, which CIC says admits the kind of immigrants that would be more likely to integrate well into the Canadian labour market.

Economist Tells Business Forum That Canada Faces Labour Shortage

Speakers at the 2012 Global Business Forum, held at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, included the US ambassador to Canada David Jacobson and Boom, Bust and Echo author David Foot (Hedwig Storch)

In a talk that could nudge policy makers toward increasing immigration levels, Toronto economist and demographer David Foot told an audience of business executives, academics, diplomats and government leaders that Canada will face a severe labour shortage over the next two decades as millions of Canadians enter retirement.

“Canada will have more old than young people and no amount of immigration can change the figure,” said Foot.

Foot is the author of Boom, Bust & Echo, a book that forecasts changes to Canada’s economy and way of life as the population ages.

At the talk, he counselled that Canada invite more international students to settle in the country, and suggested Mexico, which has the youngest population in North America, as a good place to “recruit”.

Focusing Canadian immigration on international students has been a recurring recommendation over the last year, which makes a change in immigration law that makes it easier for foreign students to become permanent residents more likely.

Foot was one of 25 speakers who gave speeches at today’s Global Business Forum in Banff, Alberta, an event hosted annually by the iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.