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SLOW POPULATION GROWTH
Canada’s population grew by just over one percent a year between
2001 and 2006, with about two-thirds of that growth attributable
to immigration. Because immigrants are highly concentrated in
large urban areas, the fastest-growing region was Alberta,
followed by the Golden Horseshoe area around Toronto, and
the West Coast areas around Vancouver, including Abbotsford
and Victoria. Outside these large urban markets, the nation
registered generally low population growth and many areas
actually experienced population declines.
IMPLICATIONS: Obviously, the size and growth rate of a market
are important factors to consider when opening or expanding a
store. From this perspective, the suburban communities
surrounding our large urban areas represent potential growth
areas for gift store owners.
Increased immigration not only affected Canada’s population
growth rate, but it also resulted in a more culturally diverse
society, particularly in the large urban areas mentioned above.
Most of us would be surprised to learn that one in five Canadians
are foreign-born, a higher rate than any other country with the
exception of Australia. And Canada’s immigrants are among the
most diverse in the world, arriving from about 200 different
countries. Beyond Toronto and Vancouver, cultural diversity is
becoming the hallmark of other major cities, including Calgary,
Edmonton, Montreal, Windsor, Ont., and Kitchener, Ont.
IMPLICATIONS: The increasing cultural diversity of Canada will
impact gift-giving patterns. Canadians from different cultural
backgrounds have different traditions when it comes to
exchanging gifts and buying gifts for themselves. Businesses will
need to closely monitor the changing consumer preferences
within ethnic communities and modify their product mix and
One in five Canadians