91.2% of people have obtained Canadian citizenship, reports StatCan


Highlights 4 out of 5 are Canadian citizens through the naturalization process

  • Of Canada’s 33.1 million people, 91.2% are citizens either by naturalization or by birth.
  • The remaining 8.8% of people in Canada are non-Canadians, meaning either temporary residents or permanent residents.
  • Every 4 out of 5 eligible immigrants, which means that 80% of immigrants obtained Canadian citizenship through the naturalization process.
  • The average age of Canadian citizens living in Canada was 41.2 years and that of non-Canadians was 33.6 years.
  • The most reported citizenship among temporary residents and permanent residents was Indian.

Most people in Canada are now citizens

The recent survey of Canadian citizenship take-up trends for foreign immigrants is provided by Statistics Canada.

An overview of the Canadian population

According to the 2021 census, out of a total of 33.1 million people in Canada, most citizens (91.2%) either by naturalization or by birth. The remaining 8.8% of people in Canada were non-Canadians, whether temporary or permanent residents.

The process of naturalization is that the non-Canadian resident in Canada becomes eligible and obtains legal status as a citizen which is a pathway to citizenship for immigrants.

The percentage of Canadians who are Canadian citizens by birth has declined since 1991, while the percentage of citizens by naturalization in Canada who are not Canadian citizens has increased.

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Naturalization process to obtain Canadian citizenship for a non-Canadian

According to the 2021 census, every four out of five, 80% of qualified and eligible immigrants obtained Canadian citizenship by naturalization. But compared to 2011 the naturalization rate is lower, it was 87.8% in 2011.

Decreasing naturalization rate is one of the main reasons why the Canadian government has relaxed immigration policies and there have also been exaggerations in terms of policy changes in Canada that conclude that Canada has shifted to its correct form.

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For instance:

  • The physical presence requirement for the naturalization process was changed between the years 2015 and 2017 by maximizing it from 3 to 4 years and leaving no chance to claim the time spent as a TR.
  • After the Citizenship Act was overhauled in 2017, the physical presence requirement was reduced to three years with a provision for applicants claiming the length of their stay as a temporary resident (TR) in Canada.
  • In 2015, free citizenship was increased. The Liberal government has announced the removal of the fee to reduce financial burdens for low income families in 2019. Once removed, they will be eligible for the naturalization process.
  • Apart from this, other affecting variables include the modification of dual citizenship for the immigrant’s country of origin, such as specific residence requirements for non-Canadian residents.

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Canadian citizenship – the natural decision

Although there has been a decline in the naturalization rate over the past 10 years, there is also a steady increase in the country where people are showing more interest in citizenship.

Immigrants who came to Canada before 2001 received 94% of Canadian citizenship by 2021. While immigrants who came to Canada between 2011 and 2015, more than 50% of people obtained citizenship in Canada.

The main takeaway from these statistics is that there is a natural process that will help you either obtain Canadian citizenship as soon as you are deemed eligible, or sometimes, over time, obtain Canadian citizenship.

Non-citizens and their needs in the country

The median age of Canadian citizens living in the country is 41.2, and the median age of non-Canadian citizens (TR or PR) living in the country is 33.6.

Currently, Canada is at a critical juncture with low birth rates and an aging population. Canada must choose another option to meet labor shortages and market needs using immigration.

Therefore, immigrants who are of prime working age can have the opportunity to become permanent residents and citizens is one of the key elements of Canada’s socio-economic growth.

What would be the country of birth of Canadians tomorrow?

  • Among current PRs and TRs, the most reported nation or citizenship was Indian.
  • All 1 in 10 reported PRs and TRs have Chinese citizenship with the Philippines.
  • The third most common nationality in the non-PR list was French.
  • This means that Asia will continue to be one of the main players in the region of origin not only of immigrants, but also of future citizens of Canada.

Apart from this, there is an increase in the number of non-PRs who were French and who complied with the policies of the federal and Quebec governments, hence the government’s plans to increase immigration allowances for French speakers and across Canada.


Immigration remains one of Canada’s top concerns, the declining naturalization rate will become the focal point for IRCC and the Federal Government thereafter. Especially the median age of non-Canadians who are in the most active age bracket. Canada has already paved the way for increased immigration rates with the new immigration levels plan.

Do you have a dream to migrate to Canada? Speak to Y-Axis Canada’s Global Overseas Migration Consultant.

Read also : Canada targets 1.5 million migrants by 2025
Web Story: All 4 in 5 in Canada, which means almost 90% of Canadians are citizens through the naturalization process