Two-thirds of Canada's population growth over the past five years was fuelled by immigrant newcomers, and if that sounds like a lot, you ain't seen nothing yet.
The country is on track to becoming 100-per-cent dependent on immigration for growth, suggests data in the latest census snapshot of the country.
Canada saw its native-born populace climb by a modest 400,000 souls between 2001 and 2006. It was the addition of 1.2 million immigrants that helped push the country's enumerated population total to 31.6 million.
The 2006 census data from Statistics Canada show overall population growth of 5.4 per cent - the highest among the Group of Eight industrialized nations. Canadian growth was up from four per cent in the previous five-year census period, which had been the slowest half-decade in modern Canadian history.
An average 240,000 newcomers per year more than compensated for the country's flat fertility rate. "It is unique and it's going to continue," said Laurent Martel, a Statistics Canada analyst.
"We're heading towards a point where immigration will be the only source of growth in Canada."
That point won't be reached until after 2030, when the peak of the Baby Boomers born in the 1950s and early '60s reach the end of their lifespans.
"You're going to see an increase in the number of deaths in Canada and the number of deaths will exceed the number of births - so natural increase will become negative," said Martel. "The only factor of growth will then be immigration."
Canada's net migration, per capita, is among the highest in the world. According to the OECD, Canada's net migration was 6.5 migrants per 1,000 population between 2000-2004.
Canada's influx offsets a flaccid national birthrate of about 1.5 kids per woman, well below the replacement rate of 2.1 and just below the OECD average.