Sunday, 14 March 2010

Population Growth Or Population Replacement: Canada In 2031 And Projected Outcomes: The Asian Example.

This is a companion post to the one beneath it. What I want to address in this one is to point out that the StatsCan projection is simply just that, a projection. It's major flaw is that it assumes that all things will remain the same because all variables cannot be accounted for since no one can accurately predict the future. But a lot can happen domestically and internationally in 20 years time to affect the expected outcome. First, some articles from the National Post on the matter.

In this article we learn that one-quarter of Canadians will be foreign born by 2031, an increase from today's figure of 19%. Australia is the only country to have a higher percentage of its populace to be foreign born at 22%. This makes Australia and Canada the two countries with the greatest number of foreign born citizens in the world.
By 2031, at least one in four people in this country will have been born elsewhere, new population projections from Statistics Canada suggest, and just half the working-age population will belong to families that have lived in Canada for at least three generations.

"This is the strongest indication yet -- obviously, it's been developing for decades -- that there is a new Canada," says Henry Yu, an associate history professor at the University of British Columbia.

According to the projections, the foreign-born population in Canada is expected to grow four times faster than those who are Canadian-born over the next 20 years, creating the most diverse population since Confederation.

However, the vast majority of the visible minority group -- 96% -- will continue to settle in one of the 33 larger census metropolitan areas, with most of them -- 71% -- clustering in the country's three largest cities: by 2031, visible minorities will account for 63% of Toronto's population, 59% of Vancouver's and 31% of Montreal's.

This might not be a bad thing but it is not inherently a good thing either which is what we are expected to assume, that is if you turn your brain off and let Canada's journalists and pundits do the thinking for you, always an unwise choice. After watching so much current affairs programing coupled with a geeky obsession with the news I can assure you Canadian journalists are not exactly society's "A" students and definitely not the brightest lights in the room. The only difference between them and the average Canadian is that they are paid to give their opinion, which frequently runs counter to popular sentiment, and have that opinion disseminated en masse to the public at large.
Islam will be the fastest-growing religion in the next two decades, Statistics Canada says, with its numbers expected to triple and encompass about seven per cent of the Canadian population by 2031.

I have concerns about the rise of Islam in Canada but I will save that for another post.

In this article, and more to the crux of the matter, we learn:
According to Statistics Canada projections, Canada's population will become increasingly diverse by 2031, with nearly half of Canadians aged 15 and older either foreign born or with at least one foreign-born parent (up to 46% from 39% in 2006). About 55% of this foreign-born population will have been born in Asia.

China is a major source of Canada's Asian immigrants. It is also a country facing its own demographic problems. A victim to its own success China's one child policy is yet another example of the law of unintended consequences, a law that can be described as the road to hell that was paved with good intentions.

Simply put China is also an aging society and aging fast. According to official Chinese sources China has the largest senior population in the world at one-fifth of the world's total and 10% of the country's current population. This has implications for an emerging economy who will need young skilled workers to not only keep it going but support the pension system of its senior populace (sound familiar?).

Adding to China's demographic problems is that there are more boys being born than girls, a situation shared by neighbouring India. This has to do with both countries cultural preference for boys. This surplus of boys has consequences. Many males in China (and India) will have no choice but to forgo marriage and child rearing due to the lack of available females, provided they can get over their racial prejudices and marry outside their race and faith (if they have one).

So China may not only be an aging country but also a dying one, a characteristic of its neighbours Japan and South Korea. All three nations may have no choice but to open their borders to immigration and against popular sentiment. The question is which immigrants will they be courting? All three countries may entice their expatriot citizens to return possibly accompanied by their foreign born children. It may also entice people of Chinese ancestry to come to China. Chinese immigrants have established sizable colonies in the western world especially here in Canada and China may call them home.

It is possible China may stop its citizens from immigrating altogether. This would be complimented by a revocation of the one child policy and the introduction of initiatives to encouraging child bearing and rearing.

Closer to home Canada's Asian population is not replacing itself either. StatsCan's last report on fertility rates pegs the national average at being 1.58, well below replacement levels. Canada's Asian population falls below that at 1.3 (if I recall correctly). Indeed, the boom of an Asian presence in Canada is due entirely to immigration and not a self populating community. A look at the replacement of Cantonese by Mandarin in North America's Chinatowns strengthens this point. Canada's Asian communities are almost solely dependent on, and will continue to be dependent on, immigration in order to sustain itself. We're it not for immigration Canada's Asian communities will be on the decline and in consequence so will an Asian presence, not good news for those with a Sino-colonial agenda.

China is an authoritarian country governed by one party rule. It has dreams of global supremacy but it cannot achieved this when a significant portion of its population (25% by 2050) is either aging, aged, and/or dying. It may very well restrict population outflows in order to sustain itself. China at one time was Canada's top source country of immigrants but now that title belongs to India. China's aging demography is not factored into the StatsCan projection because the projection is unable to do so yet it may influence future immigration trends let alone an Asian presence in Canada.

India on the other hand...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I realize immigration is a hot topic, but in the end, we're not overpopulating. While it is true that they are having more children than whites, it's not as bad as it could be. The world's TFR is 2.45. Ageing population and the massive drops that will come may relieve some things, but in the end, multiculturalism and miscegenation have done its damage.