According to Statistics Canada, the number of permanent residents who have been in Canada for less than five years declined by four percent to 1,019,000 by the end of 2020 from 1,060,000 the year before.
An analysis of Canada’s national statical agency of the labor force survey that measures the number of workers between 15 and 65 by their immigration status revealed the data.
The economic and life disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted some recent immigrants to leave Canada and return to their countries of origin, where they have more social and family connections.
The number had grown three percent a year, on average, in the previous 10 years.
The data shows that the number of permanent residents who have been in Canada for five to 10 years also dropped from 1,170,000 in 2019 to 1,146,000 in 2020.
“It’s actually not uncommon to have immigrants go back to their home country during the recessionary periods,” said Robert Falconer, a researcher at the University of Calgary School of Public Policy.
He said the number of new immigrants fell by about three percent between 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis and the recession that followed.
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