Canada’s population grows by over 1 million for first time

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Canada’s population grew 2.7 per cent in 2022, the fastest expansion among advanced economies and on par with many African nations.

The country added a record 1,050,110 people over a one-year period to Jan. 1, bringing the total population to 39,566,248, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday in Ottawa. International migration accounted for 95.9 per cent of the growth.

It marks the first time the immigrant-friendly northern nation grew by more than a million people in a year. If sustained, that growth rate would lead to Canada doubling in size in about 26 years, the statistics agency said.

The record-setting population growth is the result of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to add about half a million new permanent residents annually. The government has consistently raised its immigration target to expand the workforce and boost economic growth, but that also threatens to worsen shortages of housing and health-care workers.

Still, recent polling shows 52 per cent of respondents say Trudeau’s plan will have a positive impact on Canada’s economy. That compares with 38 per cent who see the increase as a negative.

While there is broad public support for the open-door policy, rapid population growth in urban centers has sent rents soaring and forced many people to leave major cities to search for affordable housing elsewhere.

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