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Immigration increases Canada's population

A dramatic boost in Canada's population was driven mostly by immigration, according to recent figures released by Statistics Canada.

The increase was the largest in 40 years; As of 1 October 2010 the total Canadian population was 34.2 million. During the third quarter of 2010, 65 percent of the 129,300 increase in Canada's population was due to immigration.

Almost all provinces and territories saw an increase in population due to immigration. The exception to this was Alberta; 60 percent of Alberta's growth was due to "natural increases".

Canada is expected to welcome 240,000 to 265,000 new migrants during the last quarter of 2010. Many will come through skilled immigration routes.

Like Australia and the United Kingdom, Canada depends heavily on skilled immigration to fill gaps in its labour force. People can immigrate to Canada independently based on their skills, or through employer or state sponsored immigration.

To help with the surge in immigration, Canada is helping provinces and territories by providing funding to help migrants settle into their new homes.

The federal government has increased settlement funding from CAD $200 million in 2005-06 to $651 million in 2010-11 to help the increasing numbers of immigrants settle in.