By the Numbers: Immigration and the Canadian economy

By The Numbers: Immigration and the Canadian economyToronto – October 18, 2017 – A new study released by the Conference Board of Canada reveals that raising Canada's annual intake of immigrants would help the Canadian economy overcome challenges set by a low birthrate and an aging population.

1.94% to 2.05%

Represents the annual percentage by which Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would increase in the next two decades, by raising Canada's annual immigration level from 0.82% of the total population to 1.11%. Without increased immigration, Canada's GDP is projected to grow by only 1.85% annually, between 2017 and 2040.


Increasing the country's intake of immigrants to 1.11% of the total population would help offset the projected percentage of seniors (65 and older) living in Canada by 2040 from approximately 24% of the total population to 22.5%. In 2016, this segment made up 16.5% of the total population.


The percentage of health-care costs as a share of provincial revenues by 2040 without increased immigration. An aging population is projected to increase the cost of health care by an average of 4.66% annually.  


With a 1.11% annual increase in immigration, the projected provincial health care share cost in 2040 of 40.7% would be almost two percentage points lower than if annual immigration levels were left capped at current levels.

These projections of increased annual immigration were made assuming the composition of immigrants remains unchanged: 60 per cent in economic class, 28 per cent in family class and 12 per cent as refugees.

Source: The Conference Board of Canada Report, October 2017 – “450,000 Immigrants Annually?”