How These Countries Rely on Immigration for Growth

Immigration is an important part of social and economic growth in countries. For countries like the U.S. and Canada, immigration helps to balance both the aging populations and the decline in fertility rates. With more families and skilled workers coming to Canada, our economy and diverse culture can truly flourish. Although immigration in Canada is promoted, our neighbours to the south will face challenges if Trump deports immigrants who do not have valid immigration status in the U.S. This could certainly hinder social, economic, and population growth in the U.S.

According to a recent CBC News article, results from the 2016 Canadian census show that Canada’s fertility rate continues to decrease, with a current average of 1.6 children per woman. The replacement level required for the population to renew itself (without considering immigration numbers) is 2.1 children per woman, yet Canada hasn’t seen that fertility rate since 1971.

More women in Canada are choosing to have fewer children—i.e. only one or none. The goal to establish a career first and waiting to start a family is becoming more popular among Canadian women. When women are ready to start a family, they are usually older with less time left to have as many children as women did in previous generations. And once their careers are established, some may not want to put their careers on hold to start a family. The cost of raising a child also continues to increase, with the costs of child care and saving for post-secondary education holding people back from starting or growing their families.

Fertility rates are also declining around the world, however, the fertility rate in the U.S. is still higher than Canada’s. Yet, the U.S. does not have the social support that Canadians rely on for childrearing, such as free health care and paid parental leave. What the U.S. does have to help with childrearing is a high number of immigrants who work as nannies for lower wages. But Trump’s immigration policies may reduce this availability of affordable child care, in turn having a negative impact on this important support system for the U.S. workforce.

Since we welcome immigration in Canada, our country will continue to move forward socially and economically. The 2016 Canadian census also found that Canada’s population recently surpassed 35 million, with a five percent increase since the 2011 census. Immigration accounted for two-thirds of the population growth while new births only accounted for one-third. So, even though Canada’s fertility rates are dropping and the majority of the population is aging, our inclusive immigration policies are allowing our country to continue to grow and prosper. Without immigration, Canada wouldn’t be the strong country it is today.