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Highlights from the 2021 Canadian Census: Immigrant share of population, age of recent immigrants, and variance in settlement location


Vimal Sivakumar - 30 November, 2022

20221031 Census2021
20221031 Census2021

On October 26, Statistics Canada released the 2021 Census on Canada’s population and immigration. The following will highlight some of the key takeaways.

Immigrant share of the Canadian population

For the first time in 100 years, Canada has set a record for the proportion of its population that is made up of immigrants.

Previously set at 22.3% in 1921, Canada is now home to over 8.3 million immigrants, which accounts for just under one-quarter (23%) of the entire population.

Canada now has the highest “immigrant share of population” among all G7 countries.

Age of recent immigrants to Canada

Of all new immigrants to Canada between 2016 and 2021, 64.2% were in what Canada defines as the core working age (25 to 54 years old). This means that almost two-thirds of Canadian immigrants who have come to Canada since the last census was released in 2016 are at an age where Canada considers them to be ready and able to contribute to the workforce for a long period of time.

Most immigrants (95.8%) in the reporting period for this census (2016-2021) were under 65 years old, with 17.1% of that group being 14 years of age or under.

Increasing variance in immigrant settlement location

Immigrants are spreading out across Canada more than ever before. In 2021, five provinces saw their share of recent immigrants increase compared to previous censuses, while one province saw no change (as did Canada’s three territories) and four provinces saw a downturn in their shares.

Other key takeaways

Looking forward

Statistical projections based on trends with Canada’s aging population and low birth rate suggest that immigrants may represent between 29.1% and 34% of the country’s population by 2041.

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