By the Numbers: Canada's population and immigration

Toronto – October 13, 2016 – Over the past year, Canada has welcomed the highest number of immigrants and refugees since 1971, helping push the official population to over 36 million as of July 1.


Canada's official population as of July 1, 2016.


Over 320,000 people immigrated to Canada between Canada Day 2015 and Canada Day 2016. The country has not received such a large number of immigrants in a single annual period since the early 1910s, during the settlement of Western Canada.


The largest single demographic group of Canadians fall between the ages of 50 and 54, with 2,711,318 people in that age range across the country.


According to Statistics Canada, in 2011, Canada had a foreign-born population of about 6,775,800 people which represented 20.6% of the population – the highest proportion among G8 countries.


It's no secret that Canada is amongst the most diverse countries in the world with more than 200 ethnic origins. In 2011, 13 different ethnic origins had surpassed the 1 million mark.

2.2 million

Despite the large influx of new immigrants to Canada, there is a shortfall of 2.2 million people in the prime working-age population that will be left behind by retiring Baby Boomers.

7 Years

If Canada were to maintain the level of immigration it did this year, it would take approximately seven years to make up for the working-age population gap left behind the Boomer peak.

$10 billion

The Conference Board of Canada estimates that if Canadian employers and professional regulatory bodies did a better job of recognizing the skills of immigrants, they would earn at least an additional $10 billion annually.

Sources: "320,000 newcomers came to Canada in past year, highest number since 1971," The Globe and Mail, 28 September 2016; "Canada's population tops 36 million as immigrants, refugees swell numbers," CBC News, 29 September 2016; "Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada," Statistics Canada, 2011; "Skilled immigrants wasting their talents in Canada," Calgary Herald, 14 September 2016;