In honor of Canada Day, we celebrate a nation whose cultural make-up has been shaped over time by immigrants and their descendants. Even more, Canada – like America – stands to grow much more diverse in future years, as much of its population growth is expected to come from immigration.

Here are some fast facts about the shifts that are happening within Canada’s population.

Canada is quickly growing more diverse

According to demographic projections, the proportion of foreign-born people in the population could increase from 20 percent in 2006 to between 25 percent and 28 percent by 2031.

The proportion of foreign-born in the population could increase together with immigration levels. From 2006 to 2031, the foreign-born population of Canada could increase four times faster than the rest of the population. The number of foreign-born Canadians could total between 9.8 and 12.5 million, depending on immigration levels. By 2031, nearly half (46 percent) of Canadians aged 15 and older could be foreign-born, or could have at least one foreign-born parent, up from 39 percent in 2006.

Linguistic diversity is increasing, as well

Allophones (people whose mother tongue is neither English nor French) accounted for less than 10 percent of Canada's population in 1981. By 2006, that proportion had risen to 20 percent; augmented by immigration, it could reach 29 percent to 32 percent by 2031. In other words, the number of allophones could rise 7 to 11 times faster than the rest of the population, to total between 11.4 and 14.3 million people.

More than 200 languages are spoken across Canada.

Immigrants to Canada are generally young

People tend to migrate to Canada when they are relatively young. In the most recent survey, 58.6 percent of people who came to Canada since 2006 were in the core working age group between 25 and 54. A small proportion, 4.4 percent, was in the older working age group of 55 to 64.

Diversity will likely be an economic necessity

The Conference Board of Canada, a non-profit think tank dedicated to researching and analyzing economic trends, recently released an analysis of Canada’s macro demographics. They reveal that by 2040, 25 percent of Canadian residents will be 65 or over, as compared to being only 17 percent today.   Marry that with low Canadian birth rate, and it’s a formula for economic trouble. The nation will turn to immigration to refresh its workforce.

Canada’s goal is to admit more than a million new permanent residents by the end of 2021. Under the plan, total immigration is expected to reach 350,000 new permanent residents over the next three years. This would represent an immigration level of nearly 1 percent of Canada’s population, which the nation’s government says must be reached by 2030 to ensure economic growth.

Source: Statistics Canada

LanguageLine Can Help

Linguistic and cultural diversity enrich our society. LanguageLine imagines a world in which language and cultural barriers no longer exist. We created the language access industry in 1982 and handled more than 40 million interactions last year.

We are able to get you connected to our team of 11,000 professional, on-demand interpreters via audio or video in 30 seconds or less.  We can also translate and localize your written content.  We do this in more than 240 languages, and we do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

It all starts with a conversation. Please contact us via our website or by calling 800-752-6096. We would like to learn more about the language or cultural challenge you may be facing.

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