Canada’s Population Surpasses 41M Months After Reaching 40M

Canada’s Population Surpasses 41M Months After Reaching 40M
Pedestrians cross a street in Toronto on Feb. 4, 2022. (The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)

Canada’s population has surpassed 41 million residents nine months after reaching a previous threshold of 40 million, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

The figures come from StatCan’s population clock, a model that estimates the population of the country in real-time. The population figure had reached 41,003,926 at time of publication.
In another report released on March 27, StatCan noted that in 2023, Canada’s population increased by 1,271,872 people—the highest annual population growth rate since 1957, and which was mostly driven by immigration.

The agency said most of the 3.2 percent population growth rate stemmed from temporary immigration, such as student visas and temporary foreign workers. Without temporary residents, the population would have still grown by 1.2 percent.

A total of 804,901 non-permanent residents (NPRs) arrived in Canada last year compared to 471,771 permanent immigrants, with temporary workers making up the bulk of NPRs.

Overall, Statistics Canada estimates that as of January 1, 2024, there are 2,661,784 NPRs residing in Canada, with 328,898 being asylum seekers.  

International student visas have also been a main driver of Canada’s population growth, although the government has recently revised the number of visas being granted amid an ongoing housing shortage that has driven up rental prices amid increased demand.

In January, the federal government announced it would be capping the number of student visas at 360,000, around 36 percent less than in 2023. The cap is expected to remain in force until 2025 when it will be reviewed.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller said at the time that some of the student visas were being awarded to students who were attending educational institutions that may be handing out bogus diplomas.

Deleted: “It’s not the intention of this program to have sham commerce degrees or business degrees that are sitting on top of a massage parlour that someone doesn’t even go to and then they come into the province and drive an Uber,” he said.

The number of international students in Canada has soared in the last decade, increasing by around three times.

Immigration has also rapidly changed the demographics of Canada as a whole with the country’s foreign-born population now amounting to the largest it has been in the last 150 years, according to a 2022 Statistics Canada report which said that nearly one in four Canadian residents, 23 percent, had been born abroad.
Meanwhile, Canada’s birth rate dropped to its lowest rate ever in 2022 with just 1.33 children per woman, far below the rate of 2.1 children considered to be the replacement rate.

A large decline of 7.4 percent took place from 2021 to 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic, matching other countries that experienced a “baby bust” during the pandemic.