Statistics Canada Releases 2021 Fourth Quarter Results for Non-Profit Sector
April 2022 Charity & NFP Law Update
Published on April 28 2022

By Jacqueline M. Demczur

New statistics released by Statistics Canada show growth in the non-profit sector, though this growth lags behind economy-wide growth. “Non-profit institutions and volunteering: Economic contribution, fourth quarter 2021” (the “Report”), published by Statistics Canada on March 29, 2022, shows that the real gross domestic product (“GDP”) (i.e. nominal GDP adjusted for inflation), of non-profit institutions increased by 2.1% overall in 2021, while economy-wide real GDP growth for the year was 4.6%. Growth for the sector was particularly slow in the fourth quarter of 2021, which coincided with Omicron-related restrictions. However, the Report attributes the lower growth rate in 2021, in part, to the strength of health care activities throughout 2020, which form a large component of non-profit institutions.

As stated in the October 2021 Charity & NFP Law Update, the definition of the “non-profit sector” in the Report adheres to international standards published in the United Nations' Handbook of National Accounting: Satellite Account on Non-profit and Related Institutions and Volunteer Work.

Across sectors, the real GDP of non-profit institutions serving businesses (which suffered the greatest impacts from COVID-related restrictions) rose by 0.9% in the fourth quarter of 2021. The real GDP of non-profit institutions serving governments and those serving households both rose by 0.5% in the same period.

Employment in the sector increased 1.4% overall in the fourth quarter, led by a strong increase in jobs in healthcare and social services, and representing a 4.3% increase from the fourth quarter of 2020. In particular, healthcare has seen the largest increase in employment, with a 6.3% increase as compared with the first quarter of 2020. Compared to healthcare, the social services activities only saw a 2.0% rise in the number of employees, which remains 7.1% lower than in first quarter of 2020.

The nominal GDP for the sector grew by 2.0% in the fourth quarter of 2021, with non-profit institutions constituting 8.3% of the economy-wide nominal GDP during that period, and non-profit instructions excluding the government constituting 2.1% of the economy-wide nominal GDP. The Report overall presents good news for Canada’s non-profit sector, which has experienced growth and greater stability, particularly in the wake of a global pandemic.


Read the April 2022 Charity & NFP Law Update