The people of Canada

The current population of Canada is in the region of 33.4 million, with the largest province population found in Ontario. Home to 12 million people, 4.7 million of Ontario’s residents live in Toronto. Québec (7.5 million) and British Columbia (4 million) are the next most populated provinces.

Canada's urban areas are growing

Canada is presently undergoing a steady urbanisation of its population, with 79.4% of its people living in urban or semi-urban areas with populations of over 10,000.

It is also, like many other developed countries, experiencing an ageing demographic. The over 80s are the fastest growing age group in Canada. Between 1991 and 2001 this groups numbers soared by 41.2% and it is expected that a similar increase will occur by 2011.

Meanwhile there is a decrease in the number of children under age four, due to fertility rates dropping faster than at any other time in the country's recorded history. As a result the average age in Canada has increased over the past decade to 37.

Canada's levels of literacy

Literacy in Canada varies dramatically from province to province. The Yukon has the highest rate of literacy in the country, reflecting its high-density population of working aged professionals. British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan also rate highly compared with Newfoundland, Labrador, New Brunswick and Nanavut, which all rank a long way under the national average.

Canada's need for skilled migrants

Immigration is increasingly playing an important role in Canada's workforce due to the country's ageing population. Immigration has filled necessary gaps in the skills and labour-forces, and so it is that 2.2 million immigrants have been welcomed into Canada in the past 10 years.

Historically Canada's immigrant population has been European in origin, but more recently it is predominantly of Asian origin. As the average age of the workforce increases, and the demands of the job market become increasingly dependent of skilled workers, it is expected that the role of immigrants into Canada will become even more important by 2011.

 
 

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