Raise immigration levels to boost Canada’s GDP


In a recent report titled 450,000 Immigrants Annually?, the Conference Board of Canada says that the best bet to meet the imminent economic challenges of Canada’s aging population is to increase rates of immigration.

The not-for-profit think tank, which analyzes economic trends and public policy, says that due to an imbalance in the births-minus-deaths ratio in Canada, immigration is needed to maintain population growth in Canada in the coming years.

As of 2016, Canada’s population sees people 65 or over at 16.5 per cent of total population, however this rate will reach 24 per cent by 2040. The problem is that the current births minus death ratio sees an additional 114,000 people added each year, but with projections seeing this rate dropping to near zero by 2033.

Without a natural replacement rate, Canada will see a net population loss without an increase in population by some other means.

Why look to immigration to solve Canada’s looming population imbalance? Aging populations lead to higher health care costs, less people in the workforce driving economic activity, less people buying new housing, and less people paying taxation revenue. Efforts are needed to improve the workers-per-retired-workers ratio in order to keep economic growth strong, and immigration is a favorable option as skilled workers can be brought in to join the Canadian workforce and economy.

Immigrant challenges to be faced

While this sounds great on paper, there are significant challenges faced by new immigrants to Canada that need to be addressed to help their transition. These challenges are common all across Canada: integrating into the workforce, having foreign credentials recognized and finding the necessary services (like health care providers in Ontario, housing in Calgary or an immigration law firm in Toronto) that can make the transition easier.

The good news is that Canada is a very attractive market for immigrants looking for a new home. In fact, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) lists Canada’s immigration rate as one of the highest of all OECD countries. Additionally, employment rates for Canadian immigrants ranked third highest of all OECD countries in 2012, which indicates a healthy transition process for those coming to Canada and seeking employment.

In short, not only do skilled immigrants want to come to Canada, but Canada needs skilled immigrants to maintain economic growth, population growth and a healthy workforce. These factors make for a very promising future for Canadian GDP, economic prosperity and population balance.

This sponsored article was provided by Matthew Jeffery, a Canadian immigration lawyer based in Toronto, Canada. Please visit https://www.matthewjeffery.com/ for more information on immigration to Canada.