This piece outlines some good reasons why you should consider Canada in your international student recruitment strategy.

If you’re interested in recruiting Canadian students, we encourage you to read on. And if you’d like to tap into our database of over 1.2 million students, including 23,000+ who are interested in studying outside Canada, please let us know. We can help you reach the Canadian market through our fairs or our digital recruitment solutions.

Canada’s Population is Growing Quickly

Canada’s population has grown by 5.8% or over 2 million people since 2022 to more than 41 million people in 2024.

From 2013 to 2022, Canada’s population grew by 11% — in comparison to the UK, which grew by 4.4% and the US by 5.5%.

Of the 13 provinces and territories in Canada, the province of Ontario has the largest population, with 39% of the total. It is followed by Quebec (where both French and English are spoken), British Columbia, and Alberta.

Canadian Population, as of May 2024

Provinces and territoriesPopulation%
Newfoundland and Labrador542,4291%
Prince Edward Island177,3660%
Nova Scotia1,080,7273%
New Brunswick853,4112%
Quebec9,057,58222%
Ontario16,071,49339%
Manitoba1,490,6414%
Saskatchewan1,234,6483%
Alberta4,878,36112%
British Columbia5,663,12314%
Yukon45,8570%
Northwest Territories44,4960%
Nunavut40,3570%
TOTAL in 202441,180,491100%

Population in 2022: 38,930,000

Increase since 2022: 5.8%

In 2023, 42% of the Canadian population was between 0 and 34 years old. And of that number, 4,849,906 were between the ages of 15-24 — an increase of 5% from 2022.

Canadians Value Education

Canada ranks second behind Korea, with 67% of the population between the ages of 25–34 years old having a tertiary education.

RankCountry%
1Korea69.6%
2Canada67.0%
3Japan65.7%
4Ireland63.3%
5Luxembourg60.0%

Canadian Higher Education

There were over 2.1 million students studying at the tertiary level in Canada in 2021-22. The fastest growing segment over the past 5 years was Doctoral studies at 14.4%, followed by Master’s studies at 12.9%.

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 62021 / 20225-Year Change
Total, International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)2,196,4683.8%
Upper secondary education22,038-20.4%
Post-secondary non-tertiary education236,280-6.4%
Short-cycle tertiary education412,2696.6%
Bachelor’s or equivalent1,110,5676.0%
Master’s or equivalent229,21212.9%
Doctoral or equivalent61,80014.4%
Not applicable, International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)124,299-14.2%

There are over 240 publicly funded colleges and universities in Canada. There are many more privately funded colleges. Education is governed by provincial and territorial governments, and is supported by federal scholarships, grants, and loans.

Colleges predominantly offer 2-year diploma programs and universities predominantly offer bachelor, masters and doctoral programs. You’ll find a Canadian education system explainer here.

Fields of Study Breakdown

Across all levels of tertiary education, the fastest growing programs are in computer and information sciences, mathematics, and engineering. The largest segments are health professions, business, and liberal arts.

Field of Study2021 / 2022Since 2011%
Military science, leadership and operational art222362.5%
Computer and information sciences and support services103,161172.6%
Mathematics and statistics20,54775.0%
Area, ethnic, cultural, gender, and group studies9,22844.5%
Engineering135,75640.6%
Psychology 69,47734.6%
Multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary studies108,03330.9%
Science technologies/technicians4,05930.3%
Biological and biomedical sciences85,20630.0%
Health professions and related programs (except cannabis)224,85924.6%
Agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences (except cannabis)12,58822.9%
Natural resources and conservation20,64921.7%
Transportation and materials moving3,93021.4%
Family and consumer sciences/human sciences48,29420.1%
Parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies41,52618.8%
Business, management, marketing and related support services (except cannabis)386,25018.3%
Architecture and related services17,25316.4%
Engineering technologies and engineering-related fields55,47316.1%
Legal professions and studies32,47813.3%
Public administration and social service professions (except cannabis)41,7969.6%
Health-related knowledge and skills (not for credit)1,4078.3%
Security and protective services32,8718.3%
Physical sciences26,3286.9%
Social sciences101,4996.3%
Personal and culinary services (except cannabis)9,4745.0%
Education100,5240.4%
Military technologies and applied sciences..0.0%
Citizenship activities (not for credit)..0.0%
Interpersonal and social skills (not for credit)..0.0%
Cannabis-related instructional programs1140.0%
Communications technologies/technicians and support services9,369-0.4%
Dental, medical and veterinary residency programs14,463-1.7%
Visual and performing arts71,019-1.7%
Precision production4,305-4.7%
Leisure and recreational activities (not for credit)3,027-4.7%
Construction trades7,587-4.7%
Communication, journalism and related programs28,608-9.5%
Theology and religious vocations2,937-10.0%
Mechanic and repair technologies/technicians13,995-14.7%
Philosophy and religious studies8,346-15.2%
High school/secondary diploma and certificate programs31,851-16.0%
Pre-technology education/pre-industrial arts programs759-17.3%
Unclassified73,608-19.6%
English language and literature/letters15,480-22.4%
Library science2,580-23.4%
French language and literature/letters4,902-28.6%
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities175,569-28.7%
History12,897-29.9%
Aboriginal and foreign languages, literatures and linguistics11,148-45.2%
Basic skills (not for credit)10,971-46.1%
Personal awareness and self-improvement (not for credit)48-94.0%
Total, field of study2,196,4689.9%

Master’s Level

At the Master’s level, computer and information sciences, engineering, and health professions top the fastest growing list.

Field of Study2021 / 2022Since 2011%
Unclassified3,3183152.9%
Computer and information sciences and support services9,210152.3%
Engineering technologies and engineering-related fields570131.7%
Security and protective services65795.5%
Multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary studies4,98677.4%
Engineering21,72960.0%
Health professions and related programs (except cannabis)44,12446.5%
Parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies1,96228.7%
Business, management, marketing and related support services (except cannabis)34,16427.1%
Education23,10625.4%
Communications technologies/technicians and support services6323.5%
Psychology 4,03520.4%
Family and consumer sciences/human sciences84919.9%
Mathematics and statistics1,49117.8%
Legal professions and studies16,89017.2%
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities58516.8%
Biological and biomedical sciences7,38915.3%
Public administration and social service professions (except cannabis)8,03113.1%
Social sciences7,87213.1%
Architecture and related services3,22212.7%
Natural resources and conservation3,28510.8%
Area, ethnic, cultural, gender, and group studies1,0868.7%
Agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences (except cannabis)1,0804.7%
Communication, journalism and related programs2,0164.3%
Physical sciences3,2613.4%
Visual and performing arts3,5161.0%
Science technologies/technicians..0.0%
Transportation and materials moving30.0%
Health-related knowledge and skills (not for credit)..0.0%
Personal and culinary services (except cannabis)180.0%
Military technologies and applied sciences..0.0%
Citizenship activities (not for credit)..0.0%
Interpersonal and social skills (not for credit)..0.0%
Cannabis-related instructional programs..0.0%
Precision production..0.0%
Leisure and recreational activities (not for credit)..0.0%
Construction trades270.0%
Mechanic and repair technologies/technicians..0.0%
High school/secondary diploma and certificate programs..0.0%
Pre-technology education/pre-industrial arts programs..0.0%
Basic skills (not for credit)..0.0%
Personal awareness and self-improvement (not for credit)..0.0%
Dental, medical and veterinary residency programs14,418-1.9%
Aboriginal and foreign languages, literatures and linguistics1,056-5.1%
Theology and religious vocations819-7.5%
Philosophy and religious studies1,071-8.5%
Military science, leadership and operational art21-12.5%
History1,017-16.1%
English language and literature/letters921-16.1%
French language and literature/letters651-17.2%
Library science705-42.3%
Total, field of study229,21229.4%

Canadian Student Mobility

11% of Canadian undergraduate students study abroad. In the 2020-2021 academic year, Canada was the fourth largest source of international students enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States, with 25,143 students.

In 2023, Canada ranked in the top 10 of non-EU countries sending students to the UK with 7,485 Canadian students.

SchoolFinder Group / Recruit in Canada Student Database

There are over 23,000 Canadian students from our database who indicated an interest in studying in one or more countries outside Canada over the last year and half. Over 40 countries are represented with the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Germany being the top 5.

CountryNumber of Students%
Anguilla                                      4,37818.5%
Antigua and Barbuda                                      4,45618.8%
Aruba                                      3,73615.8%
Australia                                      8,07434.1%
Austria                                      5,35322.6%
Barbados                                      4,64619.6%
Belgium                                      5,75424.3%
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba                                              –  0.0%
Cayman Islands                                      4,12417.4%
China                                      5,09621.5%
Curaçao                                              –  0.0%
Cyprus                                      4,63019.6%
Czech Republic                                      4,73520.0%
Dominica                                      1,2505.3%
Fiji                                      2,1549.1%
France                                      7,74532.7%
Germany                                      7,44031.4%
Greece                                      5,85624.7%
Grenada                                      4,53419.2%
Guatemala                                      4,50519.0%
Hong Kong                                          9654.1%
Hungary                                      4,76720.1%
Ireland                                      6,68028.2%
Israel                                      4,48819.0%
Italy                                      7,19630.4%
Japan                                      6,25926.4%
Kazakhstan                                      1,9978.4%
Korea, Republic of                                      5,52223.3%
Liechtenstein                                              –  0.0%
Luxembourg                                      3,36814.2%
Malaysia                                      3,90416.5%
Netherlands                                      6,71828.4%
New Zealand                                      6,44327.2%
Nicaragua                                             210.1%
Poland                                      4,96921.0%
Portugal                                      5,06321.4%
Saint Kitts and Nevis                                      3,71015.7%
Saint Lucia                                      3,36714.2%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines                                      3,29513.9%
Saudi Arabia                                      3,42014.4%
Singapore                                      4,05817.1%
Spain                                      5,10721.6%
Sweden                                      5,21422.0%
Switzerland                                      5,68024.0%
Thailand                                      3,13213.2%
 United Kingdom                                   11,19847.3%
United States                                   16,19068.4%
United Arab Emirates                                      3,48614.7%
Total Number of Students                                   23,676


We hope that helps!

For more information on how we can help you can reach our community of Canadian Students interested in studying in your country, contact us at:

The SchoolFinder Group Team
info@schoolfindergroup.com

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