On today’s show we’re talking about demographics and policy. In Canada, our fertility rate is 1.48. We’re not making enough babies to maintain population. Like most western economies, fertility rates are below the 2.1 required to maintain population constant. 

The US is at 1.64

Italy is at 1.24

China is at 1.09

So countries with low fertility and rising populations are acquiring population through immigration. That’s true in the US, Canada, and much of Western Europe.

Canada is a large country in terms of land mass. But if it’s built, it is full. With nearly 1M people admitted to the country in 2022, people are finding it hard to find a place to live. The vacancy rate in many cities is hovering near and in many cases below 1%. 

Newcomers to the country are having a hard time finding accommodations. I’ve personally had conversations with parents who are struggling to find student housing for their children who are moving away to attend university in another city. 

Many foreign students choose to stay in Canada after their degree and eventually become permanent residents and then naturalized citizens. 

This past week, Canada’s Federal government announced a plan to solve the housing problem by limiting the number of foreign student visas. 

Honestly, this is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve seen in a long time. In an environment when you have an aging population, you want your immigration to be biased towards a younger demographic. You want people who are just entering the workforce to be the ones coming into the country. If the first few years of their stay here involves training and education that will enable a high quality of integration into the society, you can’t ask for better. Those who enter the country in their later years where they will contribute less to the economy and potentially represent a strain on the health care system exact a higher cost on the country. 


Host: Victor Menasce

email: podcast@victorjm.com