Canada Takes in – Proportionately – Four Times as Many (Legal) Immigrants as U.S.

By David North on February 22, 2023

New information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows that Canada is taking in about four times as many immigrants proportionately as we do.

The U.S., a nation with 338 million people routinely accepts about 1.1 million new legal immigrants a year; Canada, with some 38 million people, accepted 437,120 in CY 2022. This annual influx is thus about 0.3 percent of our population, but is 1.1 percent of the Canadian one.

A caveat is in order here. This data deals only with new legal, permanent residents per year. It does not cover arriving aliens in legal temporary status or the undocumented ones currently flooding over our southern border. Were data on Canada’s illegal population to be available, the comparison might be different.

Canada’s sources of legal immigrants, starting with India, China, and Afghanistan, look very much like our sources, except that Mexico plays a much larger role in American data than in Canada’s immigration statistics, and France contributes more north of the border than south of it. Here is a listing of the 10 major source counties for Canada.

Table 1. Canadian Immigration, 2022:
The 10 Leading Source Nations

Nation of Origin Number Percentage
India 118,095 27.00%
China 31,815 7.20%
Afghanistan 23,735 5.40%
Nigeria 22,085 5.10%
Philippines 22,070 5.10%
France 14,145 3.20%
Pakistan 11,585 2.60%
Iran 11,105 2.50%
U.S.A. 10,400 2.30%
Syria 8,500 1.90%

Source: Vimal Sivakumar, “IRCC unveils the top 10 source countries of new immigrants to Canada in 2022”, CIC News, February 16, 2023.

Note that four of the top-10 source nations used to be, in all or in part, portions of the British Empire, while two relate to current or one-time French sovereignty. Two traditional source countries, the UK and Ireland, no longer are in the top-10 list.

Canada’s immigrants flock to urban areas and to the warmer, more developed parts of that nation, such as Ontario and British Columbia, as the following table indicates:

Table 2. Canadian Immigration, 2022:
Where They Settled

Province or Territory 2022 Arrivals Percentage of Total
Newfoundland/Labrador 3,490 0.70%
Prince Edward Island 2,665 0.60%
Nova Scotia 12,650 2.80%
New Brunswick 10,205 2.30%
Quebec 68,685 15.70%
Ontario 184,725 42.20%
Manitoba 21,645 4.90%
Saskatchewan 21,635 4.90%
Alberta 49,460 11.30%
British Columbia 61,215 14.00%
Yukon 455 0.10%
Northwest Territories 235 < 0.1%
Nunavut 45 < 0.1%
Province Not Stated 20 < 0.1%
National Totals 437,120 100.00%

Source: Vimal Sivakumar, “IRCC unveils the top 10 source countries of new immigrants to Canada in 2022”, CIC News, February 16, 2023.

The provinces are arrayed in the traditional Canadian manner, first from east to west, and then north to Yukon, and from there back to the east. The last two entities listed were created about a quarter of a century ago; Nunavut consists largely of the Arctic islands and some islands in Hudson Bay. It is dominated by Inuit populations and most of it is above the Arctic Circle.

I have difficulty understanding why an immigrant would settle in Nunavut, but I am sure that if some dentist or physician from overseas wanted to do so, she or he would be welcomed with open arms.

It is now only a few weeks into the new year, and the on-the-ball Canadian statisticians are already publishing data on last calendar year’s events.

The author is grateful to Donna Desrochers for her research assistance.

Topics: Canada