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Canada's Open Doors: How Many Immigrants Choose to Stay?

Canada is known for being friendly to newcomers, with a significant number of people in the country being immigrants. The 2021 census revealed that 23% of Canada's population, around 8.4 million people, were born outside the country. In 2022, over 430,000 more immigrants arrived, setting a new record, according to Statistics Canada.

But the big question is, how many of these immigrants decide to make Canada their permanent home?

Statistics Canada tried to find out. They discovered that between 1982 and 2017, more than 15% of immigrants went back to their home country or moved somewhere else within the first 20 years of becoming permanent residents of Canada. For example, 40% of immigrants born in the US were most likely to leave within 20 years, along with those born in Taiwan, France, and Hong Kong. People with more education and those without children were also more likely to leave, with about 5% leaving within their first five years.

So, is 15% a lot or a little? It depends on how you look at it, say the experts. Some believe it might show that adjusting to life in Canada can be challenging for some immigrants. But others, like Don Drummond from Queen's University in Ontario, see it as a success story. He points out that looking at the data differently, 95% of immigrants stay after their first five years, and about 83% stay for at least 20 years. However, he agrees that certain things, like the high cost of living in big cities, can make life hard for some immigrants.

Questions to Think About:

  1. Friendly Canada: What do you think about Canada being known for welcoming immigrants?

  2. Stay or Leave: Is 15% of immigrants leaving within the first 20 years a big or small number, and why?

  3. Adjusting Challenges: According to the study, why might some immigrants find it hard to adjust to life in Canada?

  4. Canada's Success: Do you agree that Canada's high immigrant retention rate is a success?

  5. Improving Life: What do you think Canada could do to help immigrants, especially with challenges like the high cost of living?


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