Manitoba’s population is continuing to balloon, new figures show.
According to Statistic Canada, as of April 1, it grew by just over 16,000 people in the last 12 months to reach about 1.25 million. This growth of 1.31 per cent is the biggest growth in the past 40 years.
It’s the third-highest growth rate among all Canadian provinces and well above the national rate of 1.06 per cent.
In the last 10 years, the population rose by 96,700 people, more than twice the growth of the previous ten year period.
"This is equivalent to welcoming another Brandon, Thompson, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach, and Winkler to our province," said Peter Bjornson, the entrepreneurship, training and trade minister.
Statistics Canada estimates that Manitoba received 15,707 new immigrants between April 2010 and April 2011. And there were 16,214 newborns in the province during that period.
Bjorn accredited the Provincial Nominee Program for 75 per cent of all immigration to Manitoba. The program encourages skilled workers from abroad to apply for permanent residency.