Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Immigration spurs high population growth in Canada

I live in Manitoba in the boondocks. There is actual population decline in my area. This is actually positive for a retired senior. Real estate and costs of living are very cheap compared to booming areas while medical and other services are still available. In fact I can see my doctor usually the same day!
My wife is a Filipina immigrant. The Filipina population is widely scattered in the boondocks. Some of her friends are farmer's wives, others nannies, and others still work in packing plants in the city or in hog barns in rural areas. Life is not easy and many did not realise how difficult it is to make a good living here. Many also invest in homes, cars, etc, and find themselves in a struggle to make ends meet--not that this is confined to immigrants!
THe advantage of settling in large cities is that there will always be sections where there will be immigrants from the same country and this will help the immigrants adjust to a new country.

Immigration critical to Canadian population growth: census
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2007 | 10:39 AM ET
CBC News
Immigrants made up the vast majority of the 1.6 million new Canadians between 2001 and 2006, giving the country the highest population growth rate among G8 countries, new cens
data released Tuesday suggests.

Canada's population stands at 31,612,897, with a growth rate of 5.4 per cent during that five-year period.

That's up from the four per cent growth rate in the previous census period between 1996-2001.

Roughly 1.2 million new immigrants made up the bulk of the population growth outlined in the latest census, while the country's native-born population increased by 400,000.

"Our natural growth rate is lower [than] in the U.S. for example. Sixty per cent of their growth rate came from natural growth," said Anil Arora, the director general of Statistics Canada's census branch.

Canadian women between 15 and 49 will have an average 1.5 children, the same fertility rate as the previous census period. The fertility rate in the U.S. is 2.0.

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An average 240,000 newcomers per year more than compensated for Canada's flat fertility rate.

Immigration could become the only source for population growth by 2030, when the peak of the baby boomers born in the 1950s and early '60s reach the end of their lifespans.

"We're heading towards a point where immigration will be the only source of growth in Canada," said Laurent Martel, a Statistics Canada analyst.

Other highlights include:

Canada had a higher rate of population growth (5.4 per cent) than any other G8 country between 2001 and 2006. The population growth of the United States was second at five per cent.
Between 2001 and 2006, the vast majority of Canada's population growth took place in census metropolitan areas.
Alberta and Ontario were responsible for two-thirds of Canada's population increase. Nearly all of the remaining third occurred in British Columbia and Quebec.
The rural population increased by one per cent since 2001. In 2006, slightly fewer than one in five Canadians (six million people) lived in rural areas.
Rural areas close to urban centres grew much faster (4.7 per cent) than remote rural areas (down 0.1 per cent).
Nearly half (47 per cent) of the territories' population was living in one of the three capital cities in 2006.
Urbanization continues
The data suggests the trend toward urbanization in Canada is continuing, with 90 per cent of the country's population growth concentrated in 33 metropolitan centres, said Arora.

10 fastest growing cities

Barrie, Ont.
Calgary, Alta.
Oshawa, Ont.
Edmonton, Alta.
Kelowna, B.C.
Toronto, Ont.
Kitchener, Ont.
Guelph, Ont.
Abbotsford, B.C.
Moncton, N.B.
Statistics Canada

Urban spread continues, with areas around the major municipalities reporting an 11 per cent growth rate, double the national average, said the census.

"You can see the spreading out frm the urban centres is a phenomenon that continues to take hold in this country," said Arora.

Alberta fastest growth
Of the provinces, Alberta leads the way in growth, driven by its strong oil and gas sector.

"Alberta has had a spectacular 10 per cent growth over the past five years and Ontario has had 6.6 per cent growth," said Arora.

"In fact, if you look at Alberta, Ontario, B.C. and Quebec, that's all the growth of the past five years."

Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador were the only two provinces to see their populations decrease.

In the North, all three territories experienced growth higher than the national average from 2001-06.

Nunavut's population grew 10.2 per cent and the Yukon increased 5.9 per cent. The population of the Northwest Territories increased 11.0 per cent, but Statistics Canada cautioned that the actual growth rate may not be that high. It said the increase is likely the result of an "undercount" of N.W.T. inhabitants in 2001.

Arora says census counts are used to make key government policy decisions, including how to divide up roughly $62 billion in federal transfer payments to the provinces and territories.

"Census counts are primary factors in determining equalization transfer payments, health and social tranfer payments, from the federal government to provinces and territories," he said.

More data from the 2006 census will be released throughout the year, including detailed information about interprovincial migration and immigration.

With files from the Canadian Press

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