Canada admitted a record number of immigrants in 2022, as the federal government works toward a goal of admitting 500,000 newcomers each year by 2025.
There were 431,645 new permanent residents last year according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, topping a high in 2021 of 405,000.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is trying to catch up from a slowdown in immigration in the first year of the pandemic, and admit nearly 1.5mn new permanent residents over the next three years.
The government aims to accept a minimum of 500,000 immigrants by 2025 to help spur economic growth.
The figures do not include other migrants like foreign students, which universities rely on to pay high international tuition fees. In 2021, 1.4mn people were in Canada on temporary study or work permits.
Immigration accounts for about 75 per cent of Canada’s population growth. Most newcomers migrate for economic reasons, and arrive in Canada ready to work or start a business. Some sectors, like healthcare, are facing hiring challenges and depend on immigrants to occupy vacancies at the top and bottom of the pay scale.
Immigrants tend to settle in and around major urban centres like Toronto and Vancouver, where rising housing costs present a challenge to those who want enough space for a family, or to have a reasonable commute to their workplace. Rents in major cities soared last year as rising interest rates made it more expensive to buy homes.