Resources and insights

Immigration is crucial to building a more prosperous Greater Toronto region.

29.1 % of people in Ontario and 46.1% of people* in the Greater Toronto Area immigrated here. Immigrants bring innovation, international business knowledge, and new perspectives. But are we fully leveraging this source of talent?

*2016 Census

Immigrants are:

Needed – to replace Canada’s aging population


of the population is aged 65 and over

this will rise to


by 2040

More likely to be highly qualified


have a degree



of people born in Canada

More likely to be multi-lingual


know more than one language



of people born in Canada

More likely to be “under-employed”


are over-qualified for their jobs



of people born in Canada


  1. Mind the Gap, Conference Board of Canada:
  2. 2016 Census:
  3. Toronto Immigrant Employment Data Initiative, York University:
  4. 450,000 Immigrants Annually? Integration is Imperative to Growth, Conference Board of Canada:

Why does Canada need immigrants?

Increased immigration = increased economic growth.

Underemployment costs the Canadian economy billions in lost earnings each year. If immigrants’ skills were rewarded in a similar way to  the skills of people born in Canada, their incomes would increase by a total of $30.7 billion.

If Canada increased immigration to 450,000 people per year, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow each year by an average of over two per cent. Immigration would contribute to 1/3 of this growth.

Increased immigration = increased diversity 

Two in five Canadian children have at least one parent who immigrated here. According to the 2016 Census, these children are helping to increase the population, and build its diversity. This number has increased in the last five years, and will increase further in the next 20 years.

Increased diversity = good for business

Companies whose employees have a greater range of racial and cultural backgrounds are 35 per cent more likely to have financial returns that are above their industry average.

The local context

Recent immigrants in Ontario earn 33% less than their Canadian-born counterparts.

If immigrants in Ontario did not face under-employment, their incomes would increase by up to $15.2 billion.

Useful resources

Current research on immigration, employment and diversity and inclusion in the labour market.

Immigration in Ontario - Achieving best outcomes for newcomers and the economy

Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity. Recommendations for how Ontario can better leverage immigration.

Diversity Dividend: Canada’s Global Advantage

Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation.  Highlights the potential of the diversity in Canada.

All of us: What we mean when we talk about inclusion

RBC and the Institute for Canada Citizenship. How employers define, promote, and measure diversity and inclusion.

The Next Talent Wave: Navigating The Digital Shift Outlook 2021

ICTC. Labour market trends in IT/ICT including the top five growth professions.

450,000 Immigrants Annually? Integration is Imperative to Growth

Conference Board of Canada. Projects the economic impact of different immigration scenarios.

Census Release Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity

Statistics Canada. A new national statistical portrait of immigration and ethnocultural diversity.