Canada in 2050

A Look Into Our Future

By: Hadi Ali

Indroduction

Today, Canada is one of the world's most ethnically diverse countries, with a growing population of over 35,295,770 people, in 2014. (statcan.gov) However, with worries such as health care taxes increasing, and correcting unsettled land issues with First Nations peoples, there are a few things that we, as Canadian citizens, should think about for the future of our country. In this smore, I will be explaining Canada's current Immigration, Demographic, and First Nations situation, and predicting what our birth, death, and natural increase rate will look like in 2050. I will also predict how immigration to Canada will change, and what the future for First Nations communities will look like by 2050.

Canada's Current Demographic SItuation


Canada has changed quite a bit population wise, over past few decades. As we can see in the graph below, (figure 1) the birth rate in Canada was decreasing since 1988, but has started to steadily rise from 2002. Although the birth rate has increased, it is still isn’t as much as it used to be in 1988. This is interesting, because more births could be a result of many factors, such as better health care, and a lesser use for children to work (i.e. farm or fieldwork). However, the death rate has also been increasing since 1988, (figure 2) which means that there is a natural decrease in the population. This also means Canada is currently in stage four of their demographic transition model. Stage 4 means that there is low birth rate, low death rate, higher dependency ratio and a longer life expectancy.

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Canada's Current Immigration

Although Canada's natural increase rate has been decreasing recently, our population has still been increasing. The cause of this is immigration. Every year, the Canadian government accepts around 250,000 new immigrants. (cic.gc) Living in a growing area such as the GTA, you may notice more and more people filling up houses and neighbourhoods. Most of these people are immigrants, who move to suburban areas to raise their children in family and cultural friendly places, such as Mississauga. As you can see in figure 3, the rate of immigrants moving to Ontario specifically, has been fluctuating since 1984, which we can infer is because of big waves of immigrants being attracted to Ontario for its warmer climate, developing job opportunities, diverse cultures, and other inviting factors.
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Current Immigrant Categories

There are many reasons for immigrating to Canada, and these these applicants usually fall under 4 categories. People who immigrate because of family or close friends are called "Family Immigrants". People who are chosen by the Canadian government because of their specialty in a certain skill, are valued in our economy, and are called "Economic Immigrants". People that are emigrating from their home country because they are in danger for their, or a loved one’s life are called "Refugees", and the last category is "Other". “Other” can represent illegal immigrants, living in Canada without proper approval or permission. This category can also represent visiting, or even temporary immigrants, such as students who are living within the border. According to Statistics Canada, largest category of immigrants was economic immigrants, and 82,765 of this class moved to Canada in 2012.

Permanent Residents by Category in 2012


  • Family Class- 27,541
  • Economic Immigrants- 82,765
  • Refugees- 11,540
  • Other Immigrants- 4,606

Canada's Current First Nations Situation

Although the First Nations people have been a part of our heritage since the founding of Canadian land, many of these tribes of people are not being treated right. Promises and treaties with the Canadian government for things such as land and reserves are slowly starting to fade away. These promises and trust are also beginning to collapse, causing current issues such as unsafe drinking water, improper education, and a loss of ancient history. The result of these issues is bad relations between the two parties, and is even resulting in mental health issues and suicide rates climbing for these Aboriginal tribes. As we can see in figure 4, the suicide rate for First Nations males has become very high in males around their early 20's, and is 3 times the rate for all males in Canada. Upsetting things such as high suicide rates show evidence that these people are not happy, and deserve better rights.

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Canada's Future Demographic Situation

As we already know, Canada is in Stage 4 of the demographic transition model. This means that in stage 5, countries will have a low death rate, but an even lower birth rate, resulting in a declining natural increase. I believe that this is what Canada will enter in the near future, because of more parents choosing to have fewer children. As we saw in Hans Rosling’s documentary, the more educated and developed a population was, the fewer children it had. Although Canada is already a developed country, I think that younger generations will become more open to focusing on their careers or other hobbies, as well as saving more money for themselves. In figure 5, we can see that the crude birth rate has already drastically decreased since 1953, and will continue to decrease, as the income per person increases. At that point it will be a natural decrease, because more people will be dying, than being born. However, we cannot be sure, because we do not know how much our increase of immigrants could affect our total population.

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Future Population Pyramid


I also think that in 2050, our population pyramid will look different from what it currently is.(figure 6) In about 20-30 years, the large amount of middle aged people will be at the top of the pyramid, and only a few people being born, and at young ages. This will mean the pyramid will begin to look almost like an upside down triangle. However, once the older people at the top of our pyramid will die, our population will change to stationary, from the contracting population we currently have today.

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Canada's Future Immigration Situation

In 2050, I believe that Canada will still require immigrants to help our economy flourish, because of the natural decrease. Although many of these immigrants may fall under different categories, I still think that our main intake of immigrants will be economic immigrants. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), they “Would adjust its 2010 immigration plan to meet the need for economic immigration." This shows us that not only is the Canadian government more open to this category of immigrants, but they are more supportive of these people and what they bring to our economic table.

Canada's Future First Nations Situation

Hopefully the Canadian government and First Nations leaders can come to a peaceful, and beneficial resolution for both parties, by 2050. I believe that with a strong trustful relationship, the First Nations people can live peacefully and happily, without the fear of unsafe living conditions, or resorting to death and suicide. I believe that this issue is crucial to Canadian history, because these people are a just as much a part of this country as we are, and it would be a tragic loss to have these groups die off.

NCFNG: Youth and First Nation Governance

I think that this video is important, because it shows not only what needs to occur for the future of First Nations, but what these communities need from their youth. As it is said by the President of the National Centre for First Nation Governance, the First Nations "need to put a new memory in the minds of their children". I agree with this, and believe that rebuilding the relationship between these communities and our government is needed to ensure the survival of their heritage.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe that Canada's demographics will change from a mostly middle-aged and senior population, to a decreasing and evenly aged one. I also think that Canada will be continue to accept more immigrants to help boost our economy, and our relationship with the First Nations people needs to be rebuilt, otherwise their culture and our history could be lost without them!

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Bibliography

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