Expats could make up a quarter of Canadian population by 2031, report claims

by Ray Clancy on March 15, 2010

At least a quarter of the population in Canada is likely to be made up of expats by 2031 as the country sees a diversity boom in its large cities over the next 20 years, according to a new a report.

The research by Statistics Canada indicates that somewhere between 25 and 28% could be foreign born and between 29 and 32% of the population will be also be visible minorities, a doubling from the levels found in the 2006 census.

Statistics Canada defines visible minorities as “persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”

The changes will mostly be seen in Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal where more than 71% of all visible minorities in Canada will live in 2031.

By 2031, first or second generation immigrants will make up 63% of the population in the Toronto census area, up from 43% in 2006, and 59% in Vancouver, up from 42%. While in Montreal, visible minorities are expected to make up 31% of the population by 2031, nearly double the 16% in 2006.

The rise in the number of visible minorities is one indicator that Canada’s population is becoming increasingly diverse because of immigration. Experts are predicting that cities will benefit from the diversity, however, steps need to be taken in order to best integrate migrants into the local job market.

But Canada’s economy has already started to create jobs and the government will extend stimulus measures until the economy is fully repaired, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

‘Canada’s economy, unlike most, is already beginning to create some net new jobs, Harper said in Parliament although he added that signs of a recovery do not mean it’s time to declare success and relax.

‘The lesson from the crumbling banks and budgets elsewhere is that there is never a time that a government can afford to take its hands completely off the wheel of the economy, no matter how smoothly we’re riding,’ he said.

Official figures from Statistic Canada said this month that the economy grew 5% in the fourth quarter of 2009, faster than the Bank of Canada’s prediction of 3.3%.

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