Travel Curbs Crimp Canada’s Return to Normal Population Growth - BLOOMBERG
SEPTEMBER 29, 2021
(Bloomberg) -- Canadian population growth is recovering from the pandemic, but travel restrictions continue to hold back migration into the country.
Canada’s population grew by 0.2%, or 92,897, in the three months ending June 30, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday in Ottawa, bringing the total to 38.2 million. That’s the third consecutive quarterly gain after curbs on movement meant to blunt the rise in Covid-19 cases caused the population to shrink in third quarter of 2020.
The increase is partially driven by a stabilizing flow of international migration as the Canadian government begins easing some travel restrictions for those coming to the country for work, school or family reunification. That translated into 75,084 net newcomers in the second quarter, little changed from the previous three months. It’s also well below the rate in two years before the pandemic, when an average of 115,600 individuals arrived on net each quarter.
“Overall migration into the country continues to fall short,” Andrew Agopsowicz, an economist at Royal Bank of Canada, said by email. “The growth in non-permanent resident, while still positive, was much lower than previous years.”
Canada relies heavily on international migration as an economic driver. Like other nations, it suffers from an aging population and relatively low fertility rates. But immigration may see a pick up in the third quarter driven by international students coming back for school. “The early data is promising,” Agopsowicz said.
On an annual basis, the population was up by 156,503 as of July 1 -- an increase of 0.5%. That’s less than half the rate of growth from the same period a year prior.