Canada's population tops 37 million: StatsCan
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses for a photograph with new Canadians after addressing a citizenship ceremony in Kelowna, B.C., on Wednesday September 6, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Driven largely by international migration, Canada’s population has passed the 37 million mark.
In its Quarterly Demographics Estimates report, which was released Thursday, Statistics Canada estimates that the country’s population reached 37,067,011 on April 1.
According to the government agency, it took two years and two months for Canada’s population to grow from 36 to 37 million -- a number that brings our population close to that of California, the Greater Tokyo Area and Poland.
“This was the shortest length of time ever seen in Canada for an increase of this magnitude,” Statistics Canada said.
That growth was predominantly propelled by international migration.
In the first quarter of 2018 alone, Canada welcomed an estimated 88,120 newcomers, including an estimated 79,951 immigrants and 22,283 non-permanent residents, such as refugee claimants. Statistics Canada is describing this international migration increase as “a level never before seen in a first quarter.”
In that same Jan. 1 to April 1 period, Canada’s natural increase was estimated at 15,037. That number, which signifies the difference between all births and deaths, was the lowest estimated natural increase for any quarter since Canada’s current demographic accounting system was adopted in 1971.
Statistics Canada expects natural increase numbers to continue falling over the coming years, “primarily as a result of population aging, which results in a growth of the number of deaths recorded each year.” The estimated natural increase rates in all four Atlantic provinces are already in the negative.
The Quarterly Demographics Estimates report also looked at population growth rates in each of the provinces and territories. Nunavut recorded the highest estimated growth rate in the first quarter of 2018 at 0.7 per cent, followed by Ontario and Alberta, both at 0.4 per cent. All were above the estimated Canada-wide average of 0.3 per cent. The only province to see its population decline in this period was Newfoundland and Labrador, which recorded an estimated growth rate of negative 0.3 per cent.
Interprovincial migration is also shaping the country’s demographics, with Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia all experiencing significant net population gains. For Alberta, this follows two consecutive years of net outflow. While other provinces and territories experienced moderate population gains from interprovincial migration, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories all experienced net population losses.
For more details, you can read the full Statistics Canada report here.