Immigration leads to fastest population growth in Maritime provinces of Canada
Thanks to immigration, the Maritime provinces of Canada namely Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have recently been witnessing the fastest population growth in decades, according to a report released by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC). Over the past few years, Maritime provinces have been the key focus in Canada's efforts to attract and retain skilled foreign workers and their families. These provinces are struggling to deal with the population and labour force declines caused by migration to other provinces, low fertility rates, and aging population and immigration is considered to be the key solution to these problems.
Population growth in Maritime provinces of Canada:
The APEC report observes that Prince Edward Island experienced an incredible population growth rate of two percent year-over-year since 2016. Immigration was the key contributor to this growth, as the province recorded the largest number of new immigrants in Canada in 2016-2018, relative to the size of its population.
Nova Scotia witnessed an average growth rate of 0.8 percent during the same period, which is the fastest since the mid-1980s, according to the APEC report. At the same time, the average annual growth rate of New Brunswick was 0.5 percent, the highest since the early 1990s. The only Atlantic province of Canada that reported a negative growth rate is New Foundland and Labrador, its population decreasing by 0.2 percent per year.
Provincial Nominee Programs and population growth:
A total of 22,000 newcomers came to the Atlantic provinces of Canada through Provincial Nominee Programs between 2016 and 2018. It means Provincial Nominee Programs are the biggest source of new immigrants in these provinces. Provincial nominee programs allow Canadian provinces to nominate a given number of economic immigration candidates each year for permanent residence in Canada.
Besides the PNPs, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot launched two years ago brought another 1600 new immigrants to the Atlantic provinces of Canada. Under the program, employers in the Atlantic provinces of Canada can hire foreign workers to fill the jobs that they are unable to fill locally.
However, APEC report states that it is impossible to predict whether the Maritime provinces of Canada would be able to sustain the current population growth rate in the future.
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