Statistics Canada figures demonstrate a sharp decrease in the proportion of permanent residents who have become Canadians over the past two decades. According to the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, the percentage has dropped to 40 percent in 2021 from 75.1 percent in 2001.
In 2021, 45.7 percent of permanent residents who had been living in Canada for less than 10 years acquired citizenship. This is a decrease from 60 percent in 2016. The Statistics Canada data did not specify the reasons for this decrease, but Daniel Bernhard, CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, believes that Canada’s cost of living and job opportunities could be contributing factors. He added that the Institute is examining the root causes.
“There are a variety of issues,” Bernhard said. “But ultimately, what’s changing is that people have decided that they are less interested in being ‘Team Canada.'”
Bernhard stated that the decrease affects Canada’s long-term economic and social prospects. “This is a problem for all of us who care about Canada’s future prosperity and dynamism,” he said. “We need to solve this for the future of our country.”
The federal government has announced plans to increase immigration by 1.45 million permanent residents over the next three years, beginning with 465,000 in 2023 and rising to 500,000 in 2025.