Prince Edward Island and Immigration Statistics

I’ve been spending some time swimming through Statistics Canada’s 2006 Community Profiles. Something that drew my attention when looking through the O’Leary, PEI profile was the small number of immigrants who live there: of a total population of 835, only 10 are immigrants — 1.2% — and they all immigrated before 1991.

How does this compare to multicultural Charlottetown? Out of a total population of 31,295 we have 1,480 immigrants. Or 4.7%.

If you want to enter the realm of the truly bizarre, consider Tyne Valley, PEI: in a total population of 210, there are no immigrants living there. Indeed of the 180 people over 15 in Tyne Valley, all of them at least 3rd generation Canadians.

For Prince Edward Island as a whole, a population of 134,205, there are 4,785 immigrants, or 3.6%.

By way of comparison, Toronto, Ontario has a population of 2,476,565, with 1,237,720 immigrants. Or almost exactly 50%.

Statistics Canada defines “immigrants” as:

…persons who are, or have ever been, landed immigrants in Canada. A landed immigrant is a person who has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Some immigrants have resided in Canada for a number of years, while others are more recent arrivals. Most immigrants are born outside Canada, but a small number were born in Canada.

The statistics of ethnicity from the 2006 Census get released into the Community Profiles on April 4, 2008.

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Chuck McKinnon's picture
Chuck McKinnon on March 26, 2008 - 21:11

Interesting — for the O’Leary numbers you linked to, I noticed that the population of those aged 85+ is more than twice as high as the number aged 0-4! Luckily, the column beside it shows that for the Island as a whole the situation is reversed: about 2.5x the number of toddlers as octogenarians.

However, if we broaden our categorizations of “young” and “old” to compare the number of residents aged 0-14 with those aged 65+ for the entire Island, the youngsters have an advantage of fewer than 4,000 people (23985 vs. 20180).

Coupled with the low immigration numbers, this does not bode well for the Island’s economic future. The baby boomers are massing just behind our current seniors to join the ranks of the retired. It’s hard to support such a large number of retirees when the coming generation of workers is so comparatively small.

This is a problem endemic to the Western world, of course, and it’s far worse in Europe than in Canada (Google “greek pension liabilities” for example). Still, it’s sobering to see the numbers laid out so baldly for one of my favourite places.

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