International Students boosted Canada population in 2021 first 3 months - CanImmNewsletter.com - Canada Immigration Newsletter
Canada population in 2021

International Students boosted Canada population in 2021 first 3 months

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A Canada population in 2021 report by the Royal Bank of Canada says that International Students boosted Canada population in 2021 first 3 months.

According to the Royal Bank of Canada report released on June 17, 2021, Canada’s population grew strongly in Q1 as international students returned and international migration has recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The return of international students and increased numbers of post-graduate visa holders were the primary drivers of growth.

Stronger-than-expected international migration lifted Canada’s population by 82,000 in the first quarter, the
fastest quarterly increase since the pandemic began. The federal government’s strong push for new permanent
residents resulted in immigration returning to pre-pandemic levels, with most of the increase accounted for by
people already temporarily living in the country. There was also a significant increase in temporary residents that
kept pace with the outflow of those transitioning to a more permanent status. New study permits issued
increased 21,000 (44%) year-over-year, and new post-graduate work visas increased by 24,000 (160%) in the
first quarter of 2021. This is good news after seeing Canada’s international post-secondary student population
fall by 60,000 in 2020.


Even with strong growth in the early months of 2021, the pandemic amounts to a lost year in terms of Canadian
population growth. Year-over-year growth was 0.4%. The natural increase in the population (births minus
deaths) was just 6,400—the lowest level in recorded history—as a result of both population aging and COVID-19
related loss of life. Even as COVID-19 subsides, the natural increase is likely to continue to decline into the
future leaving immigration to make up the shortfall. This puts even more of a spotlight on the federal
government’s execution of its immigration plan.

Canada’s population grew strongly in Q1 as international students returned

According to Andrew Agopsowicz, senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in the report, a boom in immigration and international students coming to Canada to study – or staying here to work – jumpstarted the country’s population growth in the first three months of 2021.

Post-Graduation Work Permits Jump 160%

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The RBC’s Canada population in 2021 report says that new Canada study permits issued increased 21,000 (44 per cent) year-over-year, and new Post-Graduation Work Permits increased by 24,000 (160 per cent) in the first quarter of 2021. “This is good news after seeing Canada’s international post-secondary student population fall by 60,000 in 2020.” wrote Agopsowicz.

Why is immigration crucial to Canada population in 2021?

In Canada’s Population Estimates, Fourth Quarter 2020, Statistics Canada underscored the importance of immigration to Canadian population growth.

International migration has accounted for more than three-quarters of the total population growth since 2016, reaching 85.7 per cent in 2019 … Following border and travel restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 in March 2020, this percentage fell to 58 per cent. Population increase through international migration in 2020 was over 80 per cent lower than it was in 2019.

The report stated that despite the uptick in immigration and return to fast population growth in Canada in the early part of this year, the Covid-19 pandemic has left a permanent reminder of its passing.

“Even with strong growth in the early months of 2021, the pandemic amounts to a lost year in terms of Canadian population growth,” wrote RBC Economics senior economist Andrew Agopsowicz in the report.

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“Year-over-year growth was 0.4 per cent. The natural increase in the population (births minus deaths) was just 6,400, the lowest level in recorded history, as a result of both population aging and COVID-19 related loss of life”.

As COVID-19 subsides, the natural increase is likely to continue to decline into the future leaving immigration to make up the shortfall. This puts even more of a spotlight on the federal government’s execution of its immigration plan,” wrote the senior economist.

Although immigration fell off drastically last year due to COVID-19 border and travel restrictions, Canada has raised immigration targets to bring in more immigrants than ever. See also  Canada to spend Millions on immigration to spark economic recovery.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has said he’s confident Ottawa will be able to hit those targets.

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“When I tabled the immigration plan a little while ago, we could have put a pause, we could have reversed, we could have cut immigration but I believe, I firmly believe and our government believes that through immigration we will continue to grow,” he said.


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You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.