Why Canada Needs Immigrants? The Answer lies in Demographics and Economics
The rhetoric around immigration, both skilled as well as asylum seekers, in the US has created a perception that allowing or disallowing immigrants into the country depends on the personal choice or preferences of the country’s leaders.
The truth is that immigration, like many other national decisions, boils down to economics.
Canada’s Population Problem
Individuals above the age of 65 years account for 18 percent of Canada’s population. By 2060, this is expected to rise to 25 percent while the proportion of children in Canada will remain around 15-16 percent over this period.
Further, in 2019, fertility rate in Canada was around 1.5 births per woman. Since1971, the replacement rate i.e. the required fertility rate for the population to replace itself is 2.1 births per woman.
These two data points point to an inevitable and unavoidable conclusion—Canada’s population is aging and its citizens are not reproducing fast enough to avoid a population decline.
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Economic Consequences of Canada’s Population Problem
From its debt to GDP ratio to public debt to population figures, virtually all economic parameters and benchmarks will be adversely affected if Canada’s problem of falling population continues.
The financial cost of taking care of its aging population will fall on fewer and fewer youngsters in the country. The issue of falling population will lead to numerous problems—from economic to demographic, social to political—for the country.
Perhaps this is why Canada is so keen on skilled immigration. The easiest way to solve the population conundrum is to encourage more young foreigners to work, live, and settle in the country.
And that’s exactly what Canada’s immigration policies, irrespective of the political ideology of the party in power, has focused on.
This is probably why Canada refused to shut down its immigration system despite the US using the pandemic as an excuse to suspend short-term as well as long-term immigration programs.
The simple truth is that immigration accounts for more than 80 percent of Canada’s annual population growth. The sharp fall in entry of immigrants in 2020 due to the pandemic has resulted in the slowest per-quarter growth in population in over thirty years.
Actionable Points for Foreign Skilled Workers
The first actionable insight that a foreign skilled worker or young student can take is that Canada’s immigration policies are likely to be stable, predictable, and immigrant-friendly for a long time ahead. Plan your future accordingly.
Second, focus on boosting your skills and qualification. Canada needs talent, which means your chances of become a permanent resident in just eight to twelve months depends on how high your CRS score or PNP EOI score can rise.
Third, especially for students, think strategically. The right course in the right province or even the right community can virtually guarantee a smooth path to permanent residence or a work permit.
Finally, understand the benefits of the right advice from a qualified and experienced immigration professional. With so many options to consider, the right advice can make all the difference between a life in Canada and a life filled with regret over missed opportunities.