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The majority of new immigrants to Canada believe that their life has become “more expensive” living in their new home than what they had anticipated it would be before arriving, according to a new poll. 

A Leger survey, first reported by the National Post, found that the overwhelming majority (84%) of newcomers to Canada who arrived within the last 10 years found that their new life is either “significantly” or “somewhat” more costly than what they had expected while still living in their country of origin. 

Only 2% of respondents believe their new cost of living to be “less expensive,” compared to what they thought it would be before migrating.  

What makes the surprise more shocking is that 70% of respondents cited economic concerns as a primary reason for emigrating to Canada in the first place. 

Another large cohort of respondents, 45%, cited educational opportunities as a primary reason for coming, while 18% cited family reunification. 

Recently arrived immigrants aren’t the only cohort of the population who feel the cost of living has ballooned, it’s a sentiment now widely felt across the general public in Canada. 

According to the poll, inflation was the leading concern for 34% of Canadians and 29% of newcomers.  

Healthcare was the second highest concern for Canadians and fourth highest among recent immigrants. 

Canada’s exponential population growth has been spurred on largely by immigration, now making up 23% of the total population. 

For example, immigrants only made up 15% of the country’s population in 1971.

Now, many Canadians are starting to feel that there is a link between record-high immigration rates and the increased cost of living. 

A previous Leger poll found that half of Canadians believe that the country is taking in too many immigrants, with 39% of that group believing that it’s affecting the country’s cost of living. 

It’s not just immigration alone that is driving up the high cost of living; however, there is also a housing supply shortage, which ultimately lends itself to the cost of everything else increasing as well. 

“A large component of this cost of living issue has to do with the cost of housing, most notably in large cities where regulatory hurdles have prevented housing supply from adapting to the rising demand,” Renaud Brossard, vice president of Communications at the Montreal Economic Institute told True North.

 “This is something that’s affecting all Canadians, and municipal politicians need to realize that the more hurdles they put up, the less housing gets built, and the less affordable it becomes for all of us.”

Despite the growing concerns around rising immigration levels, the majority of newcomers surveyed, 82%, said they felt welcomed in Canada, with another 74% saying they feel that they are well-integrated within Canadian society.