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Gallup: Canada polls as second most popular destination for immigrants in 2021

Vimal Sivakumar - 08 February, 2023


For the first time since 2018, global analytics and advice firm Gallup has released data on a poll asking immigrants about their preferred migration destinations.

The results of this poll, which were first released near the end of January, suggest that nearly 900 million people around the world expressed a desire to migrate permanently to another country in 2021.  

Reporting a four percent jump in total migration desire between 2011 and 2021 - from 12% to 16% - "this is the highest percentage recorded since [Gallup] began collecting data" 12 years ago.

Over time, Canada has become an increasingly popular immigration destination according to Gallup's numbers, with 8% of the poll's nearly 127,000 respondents (across 122 countries worldwide) suggesting that they would like to immigrate to Canada instead of the United States (U.S). 

Although the U.S. continues to be the most popular destination for immigrants, the country's popularity has dipped by four percent - from 22% to 18% - since 2015-2016. Over the same timeframe, Canada's popularity amongst immigrants has risen from five to eight percent. 

This jump has been enough to place Canada second on Gallup's list of preferred immigrant destinations, where it sits behind the U.S. but in front of countries such as Germany (7%); Spain, France, Australia and the United Kingdom (all at 4%) and Japan (3%).

What does this mean?

This poll result is a positive one for Canada, a result that may very well have been influenced by the country's well-publicized desire for immigration - as evidenced by Canada's high immigration targets. 

Canada requires immigration to offset an aging natural population and a low birth rate, which will help combat the chronic labour shortages being faced across the country. As Canada aims to welcome more than 465,000 new permanent residents to Canada in each of the next three years, this increased global popularity should aid Canada in reaching this goal, allowing the country to move closer to the level of social and economic prosperity that it seeks to achieve.   

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