Canada: The Country With Over 90% Of Its Population As Citizens

Canada Immigration

Statistics Canada recently released information on the number of Canadian citizenship applications across the country. There have been some insights into the path to getting this citizenship, and what the trends are in terms of those who receive citizenship in Canada.

Canadians are living in a time when diversity and multiculturalism are on the rise. Statistics Canada recently released citizenship insights from the 2021 census data, with key findings about new and future citizens in Canada.

What does Canada look like at a glance?

The report on citizenship reveals that of a total population of 33.1 million in Canada, the majority (91.2%) are citizens by birth or naturalization. Naturalization is the path for immigrants to become Canadian citizens and it typically occurs when a former non-Canadian resident of Canada becomes eligible and earns the legal status of a citizen.

Out of the entire Canadian population, 8.8% don't live in Canada (either they are permanent or temporary residents)

As of 1991, the percentage of Canadians who are Canadian citizens by birth has decreased, as has the number of people in Canada. The proportion of Canadians who are citizens by naturalization, however, has increased alongside the number of people in Canada who are not citizens.

Changing from a non-Canadian to a Canadian citizen

In 2021, 80% of eligible immigrants in Canada had obtained Canadian citizenship. This is less than the percentage in 2011, which was 87.8%.

The naturalization rate has dropped significantly in Canada, and it is an issue that the government is constantly aware of. Certain changes in immigration policy are likely to have caused the reduction. For example:

From 2015 to 2017, there was a four-year physical presence requirement for immigrants applying for citizenship, but that changed in the latest Citizenship Act and has now reverted back to three years. Applicants can now claim time spent as temporary residents in Canada towards their physical presence for naturalization purposes as well.

However, there are other variables that may be contributing to the lower naturalization rate, including changes in dual-citizenship policy for source countries of immigrants and specific conditions of stay for non-Canadian residents. COVID-19, which is an emerging disease, is also likely a factor that has led to a decrease in interest among these groups to naturalize. The government will have to find out more about what's going on if it wants to address the issue.

Becoming A Citizen

Over the last ten years, naturalization rates have declined. They show, however, that as time increased in the country, individuals were more likely to pursue citizenship.

For example, 94% of immigrants who came to Canada before 2001 have obtained Canadian citizenship. Compare that to just over half of the immigrants who came to Canada in the past 5 years.

It raises the question: "What are the factors which lead to an increasing proportion of each subsequent immigrant cohort pursuing and/or becoming eligible for citizenship?" It seems like time has a strong effect on the decisions people make.

There's a Need for Non-Citizens

The median age of Canadian citizens is 41.2, while the median age of non-Canadian citizens living in Canada (temporary or permanent) is 33.6.

Canada will look to immigration to solve its population problem, which is an issue being faced by many countries. Canada's population is aging and isn't growing as fast as it once was, which has left the country with a shortage of labour.

Simply put, having immigrants of prime working age is an essential part of Canada's social and economic health. That's why when they eventually become permanent residents and citizens, it will boost the health care system and the economy more broadly. The country is expected to have a large number of job vacancies and retirements in the coming years.

Here's where the Canadians of tomorrow come from.

The most reported citizenship among both permanent and temporary residents was Indian. More than a quarter of all temporary residents reported holding this citizenship.

Roughly ten percent of permanent and temporary residents in Canada have Chinese citizenship. With the Philippines again trailing not far behind, this accounts for just under twenty percent of all residents.

The French were the third most common non-permanent residents.

Considering the findings of this study, it's no wonder that Asia is becoming an increasingly significant source region for Canadian immigration. It'll also play a huge role in future Canadian citizen growth.

The increase in the number of temporary residents who are French targets two government policies: those of the Quebec and federal governments. Both are aiming to increase Francophone immigration across Canada, which makes this new policy valuable.


As the naturalization rate to Canada continues to decrease, immigration policy will continue to garner attention from the federal government and Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. Given that a large number of non-Canadian working age, this issue is only likely to grow in prominence.

Over the last two decades, Canada has seen sustained immigration rates and high quality of life. This is because, even if the residential naturalization rate falls, Canada will continue to have high levels of new immigrants each year (as evidenced by targets within the new Immigration Levels Plan).

Post a Comment