StatCan: A portrait of citizenship in Canada from the 2021 Census

An informative and useful update from their earlier study based on previous censa (Trends in the Citizenship Rate Among New Immigrants to Canada).

Of particular interest to me were the following elements:

Numbers of Canadian citizens born abroad: 322,530. This number quantifies those who will be impacted by the first generation cut-off introduced by the Conservative government in 2009 and thus not able to pass on their Canadian citizenship to their children. This is currently being challenged in court with profiles of families affected. IMO, the previous retention provisions were virtually impossible to administer consistently and efficiently, and the first generation cut-off is preferable.

Naturalization rate:

“Among all eligible immigrants admitted to Canada at least four years before a census year, 83.1% or just over 6.0 million immigrants reported Canadian citizenship in the 2021 census, while a larger proportion of the immigrant population reported Canadian citizenship in 2016 (85.8%) and 2011 (87.8%).”

Yet IRCC continues to use, in its annual reporting, the percentage of all immigrants, no matter whether they arrived five or 50 years ago, as its benchmark. Totally irrelevant to measuring IRCC’s performance. As I continue to argue, IRCC needs to set performance standards with respect to recent immigrants, based on the previous census period (essentially the approach StatCan uses).

Improved data on dual citizenship: The change from a simple question regarding dual citizenship to a more complex two-step set of questions has resulted in an increase in the number reporting dual citizenship. The results of this change:

“In 2021, 11.2% or 3.7 million Canadian citizens reported more than one country of citizenship. This was over double the number reported in 2016, when 4.5% or 1.4 million of all Canadian citizens identified as having more than one citizenship.”

I will be doing a more comprehensive analysis of 2021 Census citizenship data over the coming months, updating my analysis of the 2016 Census (What the census tells us about citizenship):

Source: A portrait of citizenship in Canada from the 2021 Census

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: