Century Initiative’s latest Key Insight Report: The Impact of Immigration on Canada’s Prosperity provides an overview of the evidence about how immigration affects GDP per capita and other measures of economic prosperity.
On balance, the evidence suggests that immigration is good for the economy, but more importantly, the context matters. Mostly, it depends on policy choices: how immigrants are selected, the economic context when immigrants arrive, and how immigration policy and settlement services are designed.
It also depends very much on who, when and where – and how we measure impact. Much of the academic research is not always relevant to Canada’s distinct context.
To make sure immigration policy supports prosperity, we need a range of measures, including thinking about the medium and long-term. Immigration has generational impacts, and fiscal impact measures are often short-term. For example, we know that the children of immigrants(and immigrant children) often fare well. Still, there is little data on the net impact of second-and third-generation arrivals on GDP per capita in Canada.
Finally, the report also highlights the importance of good immigration policies alongside other policies like housing policies that drive Canadian prosperity and make Canada a great place to live.
To learn more, read the full report.