Immigration to Canada Fell by Nearly Half in 2020 Amid Pandemic Travel Restrictions

The Covid-19 pandemic forced numerous countries to shut their borders to international travel and migration, in an attempt to curb the spread of the deadly virus. As a result, immigration into Canada fell by nearly half in 2020, dropping to the lowest level in over twenty years.

According to Statistics Canada, there were a total of 184,370 new permanent residents in Canada last year, down from 341,175 in the year prior. The final count is also significantly lower than the 341,000 newcomers the Liberal government had targeted for 2020, and will likely have a strong impact on a number of sectors in Canada’s economy, especially the demand for housing and services in urban regions.

However, the final numbers are far from surprising, given that Canada had shut its borders to non-essential travel since the onset of the pandemic back in March 2020. In addition, latest immigration data for December shows the number of permanent residents was down by approximately half compared to 2019, suggesting that the declining trend still persists.

Furthermore, the emergence of new, more infectious strains of Covid-19 have prompted government officials to issue further warnings on non-essential travel in the new year. As a result, non-resident air arrivals in January totalled 22,000, down from the 425,400 recorded in January 2020.

However, in February, the federal government unveiled additional restrictions that will come into effect, including a mandatory Covid-19 test upon arrival in Canada, as well as a mandatory hotel quarantine — both of which are at the expense of the traveller. The latest measures will likely further subdue Canada’s immigration levels in 2021, as well as negatively impact the economy.

Information for this briefing was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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