Highlighting the estimates of the national population and components of growth, with a focus on the levels and flows of permanent and temporary residents. This report tracks admissions and issuances of individuals granted permission to permanently and temporarily reside in Canada, and whether these figures are aligning with federal government immigration targets.

Canada’s population growth remains historically high.

  • Recently-released Labour Force Survey data for April reports Canada’s 15 year old+ population grew by 4.1% m/m (S.A.A.R.), a sharp increase from its 3 month average of 3.5% (S.A.A.R.).
  • Lagged quarterly official population estimates corroborate this pace with Q4-23 growth at 3.2% y/y (241,494). This remains well-off course of the federal government’s immigration targets following a slew of policy changes in the wake of last year’s explosive 3.2% y/y population growth in Canada (see Table 1 for details on federal immigration targets).
  • Immigration represents virtually the entirety of population growth in Canada, with
    approximately 40% and 59% of the latest cohort consisting of permanent residents and non-permanent residents, respectively.

Admission of permanent residents to-date are largely tracking to target.

  • There were 86,710 admissions through February, according to IRCC’s latest reporting, with roughly 31% of landed residents in the country already.

Temporary resident permit issuances, on the other hand, are showing mixed results when it comes to meeting targets.

  • The pace of net non-permanent resident arrivals has slowed (150,347 in Q4-23). These arrivals pre-date the announcement of the federal government’s 3-year stock target (which implies net contractions in non-permanent resident arrivals) and sets a steeper starting point. The number of non-permanent residents in the country as a share of the total population currently sits at 6.5% vs. 6.2%, when the 5.0% target was set earlier this year.
  • According to IRCC, approx. 116,000 permits were issued in February, with over 250,000 issued in the first two months of the year alone. These issuances, however, do not necessarily equate to new arrivals.
  • International student visa issuances through February (81,010) is roughly in line with the federal government’s annual issuance target of 360,000.

Featured Chart

Featured Chart: Population Growth Hit Generational Heights, But Has it Peaked?
Canada: Labour Force Survey Population Estimates, Monthly; National Population Estimates, Quarterly; Non-Permanent Resident Stock Estimates, Quarterly; Admission of Permanent Residents, Monthly – IRCC; IRCC Total (Major Streams) PR Admissions as a Share of The 2024 Federal Government Target; Issuances of Temporary Resident Permits, Monthly - IRCC
Table 1: Population and Immigration - Summary
Table 2: Population and Immigration - Federal Immigration Targets; Table 3: Population and Immigration - Definitions
Chart 1: Canada: Labour Force Survey - Population Growth; Chart 2: Canada: Labour Force Survey Long-Term Population Growth; Chart 3: Canada: Monthly Total PR Admissions, Major Streams; Chart 4: Canada: Monthly Work Permit Issuances
Chart 5: Canada: Monthly Study Permit Issuances; Chart 6: Intended Destination of New Work Permit Holders - Feb. 2024; Chart 7: Intended Destination of New Study Permit Holders - Feb. 2024; Chart 8: Provincial Population Growth*: April 2024
Chart 9: Canada: International Migration; Chart 10: Canada: Natural Growth; Chart 11: Plan to Stabilize Immigration Growth