For Canadians, the concerns aren’t solely about governance or increasing violence and living conditions; population dynamics play a significant role. Senior citizens are growing rapidly in Canada, and by 2051, they’re expected to comprise 25% of the population.
Additionally, Canada’s fertility rate is declining. The fertility rate, now at 1.4 births per woman, falls below the global replacement level of 2.1. This decline has persisted since 2009 and reached a historic low in 2020.
The reduced birth rate coupled with an aging population could lead to various economic and social consequences in the years ahead. It’s a complex issue that requires careful consideration and planning to ensure Canada’s long-term prosperity and well-being.
Fixing Population via Migrants
Canada is facing a demographic challenge, and to address it, Ottawa is turning to increased immigration. In November 2022, Canada recognized the need to replenish its workforce as aging Baby Boomers retire.
The government unveiled an ambitious plan to welcome 500,000 immigrants annually by 2025, totaling nearly 1.5 million newcomers in three years. While Canada has long sought to attract permanent residents to sustain population and economic growth, the results have fallen short.
Despite a growing population, Canada’s economy recently contracted by 0.2%, raising concerns about a looming recession. Additionally, experts are voicing concerns that the expanding migrant population is exacerbating Canada’s housing crisis.
Finding solutions that benefit both newcomers and existing residents is crucial for Canada’s future prosperity. Balancing demographic shifts with economic stability remains a pressing issue for the Great White North.
The Mystery of Miscounted Migrants
A concerning issue has emerged regarding the accuracy of Canada’s population count. In June 2023, Statistics Canada reported a population of 40 million, but it appears that the actual count might be even higher.
Renowned economist, Benjamin Tal, has raised a red flag during a cabinet retreat, suggesting that there could be around one million plus more non-permanent residents in Canada, including foreign students, than the government’s estimates indicate.
Tal pointed out that Statistics Canada’s assumptions about temporary resident visa holders, such as international students, leaving the country 30 days after their visas expire may not align with reality. He noted that their software and coding operate on this assumption, despite some individuals remaining in the country beyond the visa expiration date.
Impact on Canada’s Economic Puzzle
The revelation of an undercounted non-permanent resident population of about one million individuals in Canada’s official figures carries significant implications for the country’s economic landscape. Economists caution that this discrepancy may impact Canada’s per capita GDP, a crucial measure of economic well-being.
When a population grows faster than the gross domestic product (GDP), per capita GDP growth can become negative. The omission of these individuals from the population count can artificially inflate the per capita GDP.
To understand this, let’s consider an example: If Canada’s population is 40 million and its GDP is 2.089 trillion, you can calculate the GDP per capita as $52,225.
2,089,000,000,000 / 40,000,000 ≈ $52,225.
However, if the population increases by just one million, the GDP per capita decreases significantly: If you divide 2.089 Trillion by Canada’s 41m population, the answer would be around $50.951.
2,089,000,000,000 / 41,000,000 ≈ $50,951.22.
So, with a population of 41 million, the real GDP per capita could be around $50,951.22, substantially lower than the initial calculation. The GDP per capita in Canada will decline even further if the population grows and the economy remains unchanged.
Is the Issue Even Graver?
It’s alarming that the official figures may not accurately reflect the true state of affairs. As Canadians experience a sudden decline in their pockets and purchasing power, it becomes evident that the consequences are more significant than initially perceived.
What’s even more disconcerting is the uncertainty surrounding the actual number of uncounted residents, which could potentially be higher. This situation warrants urgent attention.