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The movement of peoples into a country or territory (movement of people within countries is referred to as migration.) Immigration has played the central role in the development of Canada from the first permanent European settlements in the mid 1600's to the 1990's where 16% of Canadians were born outside Canada. The birth rate of Canada's population - the number of children born to a woman in her fertile years - is about 1.6, much lower than the 2.1 that would be needed to maintain a stable population. The prospect of a declining and aging population has led to some calls for increased immigration to Canada . Economic recession, the demands on public services resulting from the concentrated patterns of immigrant settlement and concern about inter-ethnic tensions, have more recently led to controversy about levels of immigration. A special mention should be made of Quebec, where the population increased, until the 1960's, mostly through a high birth rate. In history, Quebec had one of the highest birthrates known in any world society. Although there has been immigration of Francophones to Quebec, chiefly from old French colonial territories, the great majority of the Francophone population has descended from the approximately 60,000 people who lived there when the French empire over Quebec ended in 1759.

Last updated 2002--0-9-

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
The online version of this dictionary is a product of
Athabasca University and

*This social science dictionary has 1000
entries covering the disciplines of sociology, criminology, political
science and women's study with a commitment to Canadian examples and
events and names