Immigration helps Canada increase human capital growth

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human capital growth

According to the study “Accumulation of Human Capital in Canada, 1970 to 2020: An Analysis by Gender and the Role of Immigration,” immigrant women and men have increased their human capital growth over time. 

After 1995, immigrants accounted for about 40% of Canada’s overall human capital growth. The study found that 56% of that growth was attributed to immigrant men and 44% to immigrant women. 


Before 1995, immigrants only accounted for approximately 18% of Canada’s total human capital growth. However, now, immigration is responsible for nearly 100% of Canada’s labour force growth and 75% of its economic growth.

The relatively significant increase in the size and average human capital of the immigrant population compared to that of the Canadian-born population in that time period is what contributes to immigrants’ relatively large contribution to the growth of human capital after 1995. 


Women helped higher than their typical percentage of human capital (33%) over the same period, or nearly 58% of the rise in human capital from 1970 to 1995. Compared to their usual share of human capital, which was 40%, women contributed 45% of the growth in human capital after 1995. All age groups and educational levels had a gender difference in human capital, however, it progressively reduced for all of those groups.  

Because Canada attracted more educated and younger immigrants during that time, the percentage of immigrants in the working-age population increased from 19% to 25%. Additionally, immigrants’ average human capital increased faster than that of Canadian-born (0.88% per year for immigrants vs. 0.62% per year for the Canadian-born population). Statistics Canada


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