Canada’s population increased by an estimated 129,300 (1.5% quarter over quarter at annual rates) in the third quarter of 2010, thanks to a net inflow of international immigrants (+84,200).
After a dip in the second quarter of 2009, and with the recovery of the economy, Canada’s rate of population growth has steadily accelerated since the third quarter of 2009.
Canada’s population now stands at 34,238,000, just over half the UK population and around a tenth of similar sized neighbour the United States, which recorded 308 million people in 2010.
In fact Canada’s entire population is only slightly larger than the number of people living in the metropolitan areas of New York and Los Angeles.
Prince Edward Island recorded the fastest population growth in the third quarter (+2.8% q/q at annual rates). In the quarter, PEI’s population increased by 975 to 143,200.
British Columbia was the second fastest rate of population growth in the third quarter (+1.9%). Despite a slowdown in net interprovincial in-migration from 2,000 in Q2 to 600, the province’s population increased by 20,900 to 4,551,800 as a result of a net inflow of 10,300 international migrants and 5,600 non permanent residents.
A steady strengthening in employment in Central Canada relative to the rest of the country that started in mid-2009 and has persisted through 2010 is reducing the net outflow of migrants from both Ontario and Quebec to other provinces.
Ontario’s population increased in the third quarter by 1.8% to 13,268,600 due to a combination of sustained net international in-migration (+38,464) and net gain of 2,100 migrants from other provinces.
Quebec saw its population grow by 1.3% q/q annualized to 7,932,000 as a result of a 14,600 inflow of international migrants and no change in net interprovincial migration.
In Western Canada, Saskatchewan’s population growth of 1.6% outpaced Alberta and Manitoba both of which saw gains of 1.5% in the third quarter.
While the gain in population in all three provinces was supported by strong net inflows of international migrants, in Alberta almost two thirds of the increase was due to natural increase (i.e., births minus deaths).
Looking ahead at the prospects ahead, recent signs of stronger employment growth in Western Canadasuggest population growth in the West will accelerate vis-à-vis the rest of the country through 2011.
Source and figures: John Clinkard Daily Commercial News
John Clinkard has over 30 years’ experience as an economist in international, national and regional research and analysis with leading financial institutions and media outlets in Canada.
Canada is the largest country in the Western Hemisphere and second only to Russia is size. China, Brazil and the US have a similar land mass, but all have much larger populations.
Unlike many countries in the west, Canada has plenty of room to grow and needs lots of skilled workers to migrate to Canada.