…Nigerians weigh in at 70,000
Canada’s population grew by over a million people for the first time ever last year, the government has said.
The country’s population increased from 38,516,138 to 39,566,248 people, the BBC reports Statistics Canada as saying.
It also marked Canada’s highest annual population growth rate – 2.7% – since 1957.
The increase was in part fueled by government efforts to recruit migrants to the country to ease labour shortages, Statistics Canada said.
Some 70,000 Canadians of Nigerian descent currently call Canada home, and this number continues to grow every year. Most Nigerians arrive in Canada as skilled workers under the economic class.14 Mar 2023, according to canadaimmigrants.com.
More than 50% of Nigerians resided in Toronto (14,145), 13% in Calgary (3,560) and 5% in Winnipeg (1,325).28 Feb 2023.
For many Nigerians, immigrating to Canada presents a wealth of opportunities not available to them in their home country. Political stability, a thriving economy and internationally recognised schools are all factors that make Canada a top destination for Nigerian immigrants.
The country also depends on migration to support an ageing population.
But Statistics Canada said the surge in the number of permanent and temporary immigrants could “also represent additional challenges for some regions of the country related to housing, infrastructure and transportation, and service delivery to the population”.
International migration accounted for nearly 96% of the population growth, according to the news release.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made efforts to attract more immigrants to the country since gaining power in 2015. Last year, the government announced a plan to welcome half a million immigrants a year by 2025.
The Canadian government has also been accepting people affected by conflicts like the Ukraine war, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the 2023 earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
On Wednesday, it announced an extension – until July – of a programme that offers to temporarily resettle Ukrainians and their family members.
So far, more than 600,000 applications have been approved of the nearly-one-million that have been received – and more than 130,000 people have arrived in Canada under the initiative.