OTTAWA: Canada’s population increased by more than a million people for the first time in history in 2022, almost entirely due to a surge in immigrants and temporary residents, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.

Total population grew by a record 1.05 million people to 39.57 million in the twelve months to Jan 1, 2023, and about 96 per cent of the rise was due to international migration, the statistics agency said.

The increase, which helped Canada retain its position as the fastest growing G7 country, translates to a population growth rate of 2.7pc and such a rate would lead to the population doubling in about 26 years, the agency said.

Canada depends on immigration to drive its economy and support an aging population, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government sharply ramped up immigration since taking power in 2015.

Ottawa has also been running special schemes to temporarily take in people impacted by crises like the Ukraine war, instability in Afghanistan, or the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2023

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