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Experts say Canada faces a population challenge

According to a National Bank Financial Inc. report, Canada is experiencing a population trap, where rapid population growth clashes with infrastructure limits, causing the standard of living to plateau. Canada's population growth in 2023 was 3.2%, five times the OECD average. All provinces grew at least twice as fast as the OECD average. This growth challenges sectors like housing, where supply is at a historical deficit. To meet demand and control shelter cost inflation, Canada needs to double its housing construction to an unrealistic 700,000 starts annually. The report asserts that such population growth hinders Canada's economic health, as evidenced by stagnant Real GDP per capita for six years. The report recommends setting population goals considering the nation's capital stock and limiting annual population growth to 300,000 - 500,000 to escape the population trap.

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