Immigration helped drive record population growth in third quarter of 2019

Shelby Thevenot
Published: December 20, 2019

The largest recorded surge in Canada’s population growth took place in the third quarter of 2019.

On October 1, Canada’s population was estimated at 37,797,496, which Statistics Canada reports was an increase of 208,234 from July 1.

It was the first time Canada’s population has increased by more than 200,000 in a single quarter. This represents a quarterly population increase of 0.6 per cent, which is the largest growth Statistics Canada has observed since implementing the current demographic accounting system in July 1971.

This gain was driven mainly by immigrants and non-permanent residents such as temporary workers.

An estimated 103,751 new immigrants arrived in Canada during the third quarter, and 82,438 non-permanent residents. Growth of this magnitude had never before been seen in a single quarter, Statistics Canada says.

Both permanent and temporary international migrants accounted for 83.4 per cent of the total Canadian population growth in the third quarter.

The growth was highest in British Columbia at an increase of 0.7 per cent. The lowest population growth was in Newfoundland and Labrador at 0.1 per cent.

The remaining 16.6 per cent of the gain was the result of natural increase or the difference between the number of births and deaths.

Canada’s population is expected to continue to grow as a result of high immigration levels, while the natural increase is expected to maintain a downward trend due to an ageing population and low birth rate.

Interprovincial migration from Q3

Alberta had its strongest interprovincial migratory increase in four years at an additional 2,285. This rebound comes after several quarters of declines in the western-Canadian province.

Ontario continued to grow from interprovincial migration, up 2,959 in the third quarter.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan experienced their largest quarterly interprovincial migration losses since the late 1980s and early 1990s, respectively. Manitoba’s population lost 3,370 to interprovincial migration, while Saskatchewan lost 3,477.

Quebec, a province where interprovincial migration losses are generally observed, only lost 200 in the third quarter.

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