The future will likely necessitate an increase in Canada’s immigration levels

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Immigration Levels Plan 

On November 1, 2023, Canada declared its intent to uphold immigration levels at around 500,000 per year in 2025 and 2026. Despite record-breaking current levels, a Royal Bank of Canada report indicates these may need to increase to support the population and labor market demands. 

Canada’s aging population and low fertility rate (1.40 births per woman) necessitate immigration for replenishment. This also applies to the labor market supporting Canada’s ninth-largest global economy. These factors underscore the importance of immigration for Canada’s future health and prosperity. This likely motivates the country’s current high-paced immigration, yet the stabilization of targets tells a more complex story. Immigration is important because of this combination of factors that prevent Canada from restoring its population solely through natural birth. Further demands that Canada’s economy (ranked ninth in the world by GDP) places on its labor market—which is affected by the same replenishment issue that Canada’s population faces—are linked to this issue.

These two elements serve to highlight the need for immigration in order to preserve Canada’s prosperity and overall prosperity going forward. With this knowledge in hand, it would make sense to conclude that these are the causes of Canada’s current record-breaking immigration rate. This is only half of the story, though, when one considers the present support of immigration targets.

Targets of the 2024-2026 Immigration Levels Plan

The following table summarizes Canada’s immigration goals for the years 2024-2026:

Immigration Class 2024 2025 2026
Economic 281,135 301,250 301,250
Family 114,000 118,000 118,000
Refugee 76,115 72,750 72,750
Humanitarian 13,750 8,000 8,000
Total 485,000 500,000 500,000


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