By the year 2030, statistics reveal that deaths will outpace births in Canada which means that by then, immigration will be the sole reason Canada’s population increase. Currently Canada takes in about 260,000 permanent residents per year.
In order to determine what the demographic will look like in 20, 30 or 50 years from now, we need to understand how Canadian immigration currently selects the potential immigrants.
Under the previous system based on the federal skilled worker point system (established by the Liberal government in the late 60s), the selection process was diverse and universal resulting in Toronto becoming the world’s most demographically diverse city in the world.
However a change of policy over the last eight years, has seen a greater emphasis on having students with English or French skills come to Canada, obtain a Canadian education degree or diploma and then granting them the ability to work for up to three years. The student will then be eligible to apply for permanent residence. The previous Conservative government changed the ideal age for immigration to 20 to 29. The largest demographic from which Canada immigration will select potential residents will be from students who are now studying in Canadian universities and colleges.
According to the immigration statistics, in 2014 there were over 330,000 international students in Canada at all levels of study. Between 2008 to 2014 there was an 83% increase in an international student population in Canada.
According to the Canadian Bureau of International Education, 51% of international students plan to apply for permanent residence from within Canada and 30% percent of the international students plan to remain in Canada for further study.
A further breakdown of the student population shows relative percentages of students and the major source countries are as follows:
- China 33%
- India 12%
- Saudi Arabia 4%
- South Korea 6%
- United States 4%
- Brazil 3%
- Nigeria 3%
- Japan 2%
- Mexico 2%
- Iran 1%
- Vietnam 1%
- Russia 1%
- UK 1%
Currently, almost one half of the students come from Asia and will form the largest segment of those who will becoming residents. The demographic of larger cities is changing and becoming more Asiatic as time goes on. One of the benefits of this change will be the strong international business links Canada will develop in future commerce with such a large foreign-born population.