Canada, our neighbor to the north, has a massive and growing immigrant population, with the majority coming from Third World countries.
Is this beneficial for Canada?
The National Post recently published an article by Tyler Dawson entitled, "Canada's high immigration is driving down per-capita GDP: report."
From the article:
The Canadian economy experienced a contraction “unprecedented outside a recession,” according to a new analysis from National Bank Financial, a trend driven, at least in part, by a population spike that has squeezed per capita GDP growth. The bank’s monthly economic analysis says that “signs of an economic slowdown have been multiplying.”
“Consumption stagnated for the second quarter in a row, a stinging setback in the current demographic context characterized by record population increases,” the report says.
More on that population increase later…
The recalculated GDP per capita…now sits, they say, at a 4.4 per cent contraction during the third quarter.
Mikel Skuterud, an economist at the University of Waterloo, said the simple way to understand it is to think of the GDP as a pie, divided by the population, and the per capita GDP is the slice of pie, theoretically, that every Canadian gets. And so, in theory, if the number of people taking chunks from the same pie goes up, the size of the slice goes down.
A higher GDP coupled with a growing population doesn’t mean individual Canadians are getting richer.
Look at Luxembourg in Europe. Its population is under 700,000 but its per capita GDP is over $140,000, the highest in the world.
“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any economist in Canada that doesn’t believe that the exceptionally high population growth rates we’re experiencing now have contributed to that decline in GDP per capita that we’re seeing,” Skuterud said.
Housing costs are growing in Canada.
The report also finds that while Canada’s inflation rate is at 3.1 per cent, costs for shelter are growing at six per cent annually. Indeed, many Canadian cities have seen big increases in rental house pricing. In Calgary, the average one-bedroom apartment increased by 17.2 per cent between 2022 and 2023.
“While the central bank is responsible for the increase in mortgage interest costs for homeowners, the rise in rental prices is attributable to the staggering increase in population,” it says.
How about employment?
The report says that Canada’s unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent shows that “hiring is not keeping pace with demographic growth.” In just seven months, the bank says, the unemployment rate grew by ten-eighths of a per cent.
So they’re bringing more people in but the unemployment rate is growing?
For five straight quarters, Canada’s GDP per capita has fallen. This metric is used to measure living standards.
“Unfortunately for Canadians, little turnaround in Canadian living standards appears to be on the horizon,” says a TD Bank report from July.
What’s the historical context?
The first nine months of 2023 saw the single fastest population growth since Confederation [in 1867]. Around one million people joined the Canadian population in that time, exceeding growth in 2022, already a record year for population growth.
Check this out:
Since July 1, 430,635 people have come to call Canada home. Just four per cent of that figure was due to newborn babies.
It sounds like the Canadian Great Replacement.
Of course, there is disagreement over this issue. The article says, “There’s some debate among economists about the extent to which population growth can be blamed for the contracting economy.”
Skuterud, the economist quoted above, says that over the long haul, immigration neither increases nor decreases GDP per capita. Well, maybe, if productivity increases.
But if it’s not increasing GDP per capita, then what’s the point? Canada is transforming itself for nothing.
Skuterud philosophizes that “some people are going to win, they’re going to benefit from increased immigration, while others are going to lose and so there are important changes in welfare within the population. And I feel like we’re not talking enough about that.”
Losers and winners from mass immigration?
How about the historic Canadian nation – how does it benefit from mass immigration?
You can find more of Allan Wall's work at his website.
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