Saturday, May 18, 2024

Canada’s record-high population growth due to immigration: StatCan

A new report from Statistics Canada report attributes the country’s record high population growth to new immigrants.

Close to 98% of the growth in the Canadian population from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, came from net international migration, with 2% coming from the difference between births and deaths. Fertility reached record-low levels in 2022, with 1.33 children per woman, compared with 1.44 in 2021.

After celebrating the Canadian population reaching 40 million on June 16, the country’s population was estimated at 40,097,761 on July 1, 2023, an increase of 1,158,705 people (+2.9%) from July 1, 2022.

“International migration accounted for nearly all growth from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023 (98%), because of a high number of immigrants (468,817) and an increase in the number of non-permanent residents (+697,701),” the StatCan report stated.

Canada continued to lead G7 countries for population growth and was likely among the top 20 fastest growing countries in the world. The population growth on July 1, 2023, marks the highest population growth rate recorded for a 12-month period since 1957 (+3.3%), during the Hungarian refugee crisis and at the height of the baby boom. In absolute numbers, the increase observed last year is more than twice the increase observed in 1957 (+555,000). If the rate of population growth seen this past year remained constant in the future, it would lead to the Canadian population doubling in 25 years.

As of July 1, 2023, an estimated 2,198,679 non-permanent residents lived in Canada, a 46% increase from the same date one year prior (1,500,978). This represents the largest year-over-year increase in the population of non-permanent residents living in Canada since comparable data are available (1971/1972), with the increase in work and study permits accounting for most of the change in the last year. This estimated population of 2.2 million non-permanent residents now outnumbers the 1.8 million Indigenous people enumerated during the 2021 Census of Population.

From July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, Alberta experienced the fastest demographic growth of all provinces and territories at 4.0%. This growth was not only due to international migration but was also the result of record net gains from migratory exchanges between provinces. Alberta saw 56,245 more people moving to the province than leaving it, making these not only the highest annual net interprovincial gains for Alberta, but the highest annual net interprovincial gains ever recorded for any single province or territory since comparable data are available (1971/1972).

During the same period, seven provinces saw their population increase at rates never observed since comparable data exists: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

All three Maritime provinces registered a population growth of at least 3.0%: Prince Edward Island (+3.9%), Nova Scotia (+3.2%), and New Brunswick (+3.1%).

Ontario and British Columbia (+3.0% each) came right after Alberta and the Maritime provinces for population growth, with Manitoba (+2.9%) and Saskatchewan (+2.6%) close behind.

While its population growth hit a record-high of 2.3%, Quebec nonetheless saw the second lowest growth among all provinces.

Despite registering its highest population growth in more than 50 years, Newfoundland and Labrador’s rate was the lowest among provinces, at 1.3%.

The strong growth seen across the country is, in large part, a result of the increase in the number of temporary immigrants. As of July 1, 2023, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia had the largest populations of non-permanent residents. Close to 1 million non-permanent residents lived in Ontario, almost half a million in Quebec and around 400,000 in British Columbia.

The population aged 65 and older is also growing fast with the largest cohorts of baby boomers currently reaching age 65. In recent years, people aged 65 and older have outnumbered children aged 0 to 14. An update on Canada’s population aging will be provided by Statistics Canada on February 21, 2024, when demographic estimates by age and gender as of July 1, 2023, will be released.


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