Population boom or bust?

Get ready for a future where your commute is even more crowded and the morning Tim’s line is even longer, because Canada is gearing up to welcome a whole lot more people.

What happened: Newly released scenarios for Canada’s population growth by Stats Canada include predictions for a ~47.8 million population by 2043 and ~56.5 million by 2068.

  • But if the population numbers were to follow a high-growth scenario, the number of people in Canada would balloon to 74 million by 2068 (a 47% increase from today). 

In the last six years, Canada’s population has grown faster than any G7 country (thanks to strong immigration numbers) and this year saw its fastest first-quarter gain since 1990.

Why it’s happening: The government continues to increase immigration targets and more of the world’s population decamp to Canada due to economic and environmental reasons

Why it matters: As much of the world deals with population declines tied to falling fertility rates, a larger population presents Canada with an opportunity to scale up the economy. 

Bottom line: If policymakers want to grow the population, they’ll need to tackle some existing problems first, like addressing housing shortages and fixing a healthcare system on the brink of collapse (that the aging population relies on), or conditions may worsen further.