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Quebec’s Aging Population Leads To Demand For 80,000 More Immigrants
The province of Quebec is in requirement of twice the number of immigrants it is currently targeting, in order to sustain its strong and growing economy, In the recent past, Quebec, which is the second-largest province in Canada had welcomed nearly 50,000 people who had applied for Canada immigration, each year, ranking only behind Ontario as the largest host of new immigrants.
However, when considered from a ‘per capita basis’, point of view, the province stood sixth in terms of immigrant population, when compared to the other provinces and territories of Canada. In the previous year, the province had declared its intention to reduce the intake of immigrants to a maximum of 41,800 with the hope of improving the newcomer integration. However many experts are claiming that the decision is not in the best interest of the province, and may well be changed. The experts have opined that, the population of Quebec is aging faster than the national average of Canada, while its birth rate remains low. These demographic changes, could hamper the quality of life of residents of the province, and impact the growth of the provincial economy. Tax revenues would also go down, thereby impacting essential services such as healthcare, sanitation and public education.
Canada Immigration – Encouraging People to Settle In Quebec May Be Best Solution
A recent study, conducted in this regard, has forecasted that the province, will face more births than deaths by the end of this decade, and has recommended that the province look at ways in which it could increase its population on a more urgent basis. Immigration seems to be the best and easiest solution to the population crisis that the province is currently facing. Though there have been a few efforts to promote a higher birth rate, it has remained largely unsuccessful. The Conference Board of Canada in its study has predicted that 100 per cent of the province’s population growth will happen via immigration by the year 2023.
The province of Quebec, in recognition of these ground realities has announced last week that it plans to restore its immigration levels to 50,000 by the year 2022. However, these levels may not be enough to sustain the economic growth on par with the Canadian national average. Lower immigration targets could slow down the growth of population and thereby have negative consequences on the economy.
The study has claimed that, Quebec needs 80,000 newcomers each year in order to improve its economic growth to an average of nearly 1.7 per cent, over the next twenty years. Quebec has an agreement with the federal government which allows the province to welcome a minimum of 23 per cent of people entering through Canada immigration , which at current levels translates to 75,000 new immigrants. In case, the immigration level is increased, then Quebec could see more than 80,000 new immigrants each year. Although, this number could sound high, the province will need to increase its immigration to remain on par on a per capita basis with the rest of the country. The increase in immigrant population will help in further positive development, as there will be increase in labor force.
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