One of Canada's renowned strengths is being a country that welcomes diversity and inclusivity, and it looks like the statistics are backing this notion as well. In 2018, Canada accepted the most immigrants it has in one year since over 100 years ago. Last year, the country welcomed a groundbreaking total of 321,065 immigrants.
The last time the country had seen more than this many immigrants move into Canada in the span of one year? Over 100 years ago, when Canada accepted 401,000 immigrants back in 1913.
Statistics Canada released a report of Canada's population estimates in the last quarter of 2018 yesterday. It revealed that the country's population has been rapidly growing, with the biggest reason being the number of immigrants welcomed into the country.
"As has been the case over the last several years, population growth continued to be driven by international migration," reads the report. "Gains from international migration were due to 71,131 new immigrants having arrived in Canada in the fourth quarter."
In Canada, the two provinces and territories that saw the biggest population increase in the last quarter of 2018 were Alberta and Nunavut. On the contrary, the population fell in Newfoundland and Labrador.
With the new gains from immigrants and refugees in 2018, Canada's population grew to over 37.3 million at the beginning of 2019, increasing 0.2 per cent from the previous quarter.
Even Statistics Canada was surprised by the significant population gains in the last quarter of 2018. "Rapid population growth is not typical for a fourth quarter," reads the report.
"In fact, this is when population growth is generally slowest because of seasonal patterns associated with births and the arrival of immigrants and non-permanent residents."
Not only did the number of immigrants and refugees accepted into the country break record-high amounts for the past 100 years, but Canada's population as a whole did as well.
"With the addition of the fourth quarter data, population estimates for 2018 are now complete," says the report. "Canada grew by 528,421 in 2018, of which 80.5% was due to international migration. This level of increase has not been seen since the 1950s."
Canada has been becoming a world leader for refugee resettlement. The country especially proved itself as leading refugee efforts in 2018, when it accepted the most planned refugees in the whole world, a first in 72 years.
In 2019, the government also announced other initiatives to help refugees. They launched a new system that helped asylum seekers move into the country faster and announced that they had accepted hundreds of refugees that were seeking refuge and escaping slavery in Libya. The Canadian government also invested an additional $114 million into temporary housing for refugees.