the rennie outlook 2021


demographics: a migration reflation


International travel restrictions blunted population growth across Canada in 2020, including here in British Columbia. Indeed, after adding an average of 68,000 people annually over the past 10 years through natural increase and migration—with growth averaging 1.4% per year—this province added an estimated 46,500 people in 2020 (for 0.9% growth). As the borders open back up later in 2021, and trend levels of births and deaths are re-established, population growth will return to—and exceed—pre-Covid rates in the coming years.

OUR 2021 OUTLOOK British Columbia will add up to 75,000 people in 2021, a 57% increase over 2020’s growth. Metro Vancouver will add almost 45,000 people, up 74% from 2020 and the most growth since 2014.



For Canada and many of its provinces, immigration is the single-largest driver of population growth. No wonder, then, that population growth downshifted in 2020 as immigration at the national level slowed to a virtual trickle: the (estimated) 195,000 immigrants welcomed to Canada last year was 44% below 2019’s 341,000, and a similar margin lower than the original 2020 target of 351,000. It was also the fewest immigrants to Canada in any year since 1998. In response to the immigration—and, in turn, the labour force—deficit created by the pandemic, the federal government upped Canada’s immigration targets for the coming three years: to 401,000 for 2021, 411,000 for 2022, and further to 421,000 in 2023. Should these targets be reached, they will have significant implications for provincial and metropolitan regional populations, creating a boon for labour supply as economic activity returns to trend within the coming two years.

OUR 2021 OUTLOOK Population growth in BC in 2021 will be driven by immigration, with the province welcoming more than 67,000 immigrants. Of these, 54,000 will land in Metro Vancouver (more than doubling 2020’s regional immigration flow).


Copyright © 2021 rennie group of companies. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced or distributed, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the rennie group of companies. Current as of January 18, 2021. All data from Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley & Rennie. While the information and data contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. rennie group of companies does not assume responsibility or liability for any inaccuracies. The recipient of the information should take steps as the recipient may deem necessary to verify the information prior to placing any reliance upon the information. The information contained within this report should not be used as an opinion of value, such opinions should and can be obtained from a rennie and associates advisor. All information is subject to change and any property may be withdrawn from the market at any time without notice or obligation to the recipient from rennie group of companies. E.&O.E. 5

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