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Immigration and the Canadian Economy Immigrants make up a considerable proportion of the Canadian population At the time of the 1991 Census there were 43 million immigrants living in Canada which is 16 of the total Canadian population See Graph 1 Immigrants as a Percentage of Canadas Population 1901-1996 Over the past decades the level of immigration in Canada has increased from an average of 137 000 immigrants arriving in Canada in the 1960s to an average of about 200 000 in 1998 See Table1 Annual Immigration Plan 1998 The largest share of immigrants admitted into Canada are in the economic class in 1994 close to half of the new immigrants coming to Canada were economic class immigrants Immigration is needed to maintain the Canadian population Canada will be an aging society with such a low birth rate that it will soon be unable to sustain its population without sustained immigration Immigrants are a source of labour to the Canadian economy immigrants are as likely as people born in Canada to be employed and many are skilled workers that the Canadian economy is in need of Business class investor and entrepreneur immigrant help to provide job opportunities in the economy and also generate more economic activities and income for the Canadian economy Analysis of data from the householdfamily file of the 1981 Canadian Census of Population reveals that regardless of origin immigrants benefit the Canadian-born population through the public treasury Immigrants are an aid to the Canadian economy as a result of its ability to sustain the aging population to provide labour and job opportunities Firstly Canada like other rich countries of the world will become an aging society with such a low birth rate Canada will soon be unable to maintain its population without taking in immigrants The low birth rate will soon lead to a shortage of future workers for the labour force As
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