How could the news impact the national housing market?
The Canadian population clocked in at 39,566,248 on January 1 this year, with more than 1 million new arrivals registered over the course of 2022, according to Statistics Canada.
The national statistics agency said that this represented the first time in Canadian history where population grew by over 1 million people, as well as the greatest annual population growth rate (2.7%) since 1957 (3.3%).
“This previous record population growth rate in 1957 was related to the high number of births during the post-war baby boom and the high immigration of refugees following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956,” StatCan said.
The main driver of growth in 2022 was inbound international migration, which accounted for nearly all of the population increase recorded in that year (95.9%).
“The increase seen in international migration is related to efforts by the government of Canada to ease labour shortages in key sectors of the economy,” StatCan said. “High job vacancies and labour shortages are occurring in a context where population aging has accelerated in Canada and the unemployment rate remains near record low.”
Building on this, in January alone, the overall number of international arrivals to Canada – including non-resident visitors and returning Canadian residents – reached 78.4% of the pre-pandemic level registered in January 2020, StatCan said.
“Residents of overseas countries took three times as many trips to Canada in January 2023, compared with the same month in 2022, and almost two-thirds (65.9%) of the trips taken in January 2020,” StatCan reported.
“If it [stays] constant in years to come, such a rate of population growth would lead to the Canadian population doubling in about 26 years.”
StatCan warned that this pace might prove to be a significant hurdle for the Canadian housing sector.
“A rise in the number of permanent and temporary immigrants could also represent additional challenges for some regions of the country related to housing, infrastructure and transportation, and service delivery to the population,” StatCan said.