Canada May Increase Immigration to Solve Underpopulation Problem

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 24, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 24, 2004

Ottawa, Canada ( — Canada has an underpopulation problem and has found itself in the same situation as Japan and many European countries. In the face of a decrease in population and fertility rates, the sparsely populated country may actively promote immigration.

According to Tom Kent, a "social policy guru" for the Liberal Party, the diminished fertility rate in Canada has produced a scarcity of children. Kent urges a shift to a youth-oriented immigration policy to solve the problem.

"In the early 20th century, the immigrants most needed were farmers. Later, they were skilled industrial workers. In this century, the need is different again. Youth is prime," Kent says.

Canada’s aging population and lack of children is so bad, Kent suggests "an adaptable 20-year-old may have more to give to Canada than a 40-year-old professional."

However, some observers say one way to increase population is ignored.

"The obvious solution to Canada’s demographic woes — ending abortion — is overlooked," said Steven Mosher of the Population Research Institute.

Mosher says that if abortions in Canada halted, the population numbers of the North American country would be above replacement level in nine months.

Jim Hughes of the Campaign Life Coalition, a Canadian pro-life group, agrees.

"We have been pointing out for years that the deliberate removal of two and one-half million children from Canada’s population by abortion will have serious economic repercussions as well as moral ones," Hughes said.

Hughes says that Kent and other abortion advocates are "in large part responsible for the current situation" because of their policies of unlimited legal abortions.

Given Canada’s underpopulation problem, Mosher says it is surprising that the nation continues to promote population control policies abroad.

"Now the same people who gave Canada legalized abortion at home and population control abroad are saying that we need the children we have been so cavalierly eliminating," Mosher said.

Japan and many industrialized nations in Europe are facing the potential of significant population declines.

Japan, for example, could see a 20 percent population decline in the coming decades. That’s according to new information from the Population Reference Bureau.

The PRB also projects a 17 percent decline for population in Russia and a 9 percent decline in Germany. According to the PRB report, Bulgaria could lose as much as 40 percent of its population.

Aging populations are contributing to the overall decline. In Japan, only 14 percent of its population is under the age of 15.