Canada sounds economic alarm bells for Australia


Australia posted record population growth of 660,000 people in the year to September 2023, driven by record high net overseas migration of 549,000.

Australian population change

In percentage growth terms, Australia’s annual population growth rate of 2.5% was the nation’s highest since 1952:

Population growth rate

Anybody living in Australia would be aware of the consequences, with the nation grappling with the worst rental crisis in living memory, along with falling productivity growth, crush-loaded infrastructure, and a per capita recession.

Median advertised rents

If you thought the situation in Australia was bad, consider Canada, which has seen population growth of 1.27 million (3.2%) in 2023 due to net overseas migration of 1.24 million:

Canada's population

Like in Australia, this immigration surge has been driven by international students, whose numbers have tripled in a decade:

Canada's international students

And like Australia, this surge in migrants has driven an unprecedented rental crisis amid a shocking shortage of housing:

Immigration vs rents
Canada housing shortage

Meanwhile, per capita GDP has collapsed in Canada, sending living standards plummeting:

Canada per capita GDP

Bloomberg neatly encapsulated the disastrous effects of Canada’s immigration boom last week:


“In 2013, Canada ranked 13th out of 170 countries in meeting the basic needs of citizens, according to data tracked by Social Progress Imperative. By 2023, it had fallen to 39th, in large part because of a lack of affordable housing”…

“Unaffordable housing, years-long waits for a doctor, food insecurity and a drug epidemic have reached crisis levels in Canada’s four largest cities”…

“In 2023, the number of rental units considered affordable to families with the lowest incomes was statistically zero in Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto, according to a recent report by Canada’s national housing agency”…

“In overcrowded emergency rooms, patients can wait more than 24 hours to be treated. There are even reported cases of people dying without ever seeing a doctor”.

“Waiting lists to have a medical consultation or have a surgery now stretch over months, if not years”…

Canada is a cautionary tale of what could happen to Australia if Anthony Albanese continues to pursue the same brainless mass migration agenda as his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau.

About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.