Rising international migration is driving Canada’s population growth rate to levels not seen in nearly 70 years, and Alberta is now growing faster than any province since records began, Statistics Canada reports.
The latest population estimates from Statistics Canada show that Canada’s population grew by 1.15 million between July 2022 and July 2023 (the biggest jump in the G7) and Canada’s population growth rate is now 2.9 percent.
That growth rate is the highest recorded in Canada since a 12-month period in 1957, when it reached 3.3 per cent annually during the height of the baby boom and the Hungarian refugee crisis.
About 98 percent of that population growth can be attributed to net migration. The number of permanent residents has increased by 46 percent, mainly due to an increase in work and study permits.
The tables show that since July 2022, the number of non-permanent residents increased by almost 700,000, to 2.2. million, and the number of immigrants increased by 468,817.
Statistics Canada released a new data table estimating the number of non-permanent residents by type and province after a CIBC Capital Markets August Report He said the official number of non-permanent residents could be underestimated by about a million.
The agency stood by its numbers at the time. He said Wednesday that the impact of his new chart on Canada’s overall population is “minimal.”
The table includes “new adjustments to delays incurred after permits expire,” improving the count of “non-permanent residents living in Canada with an expired permit” who are in the process of renewing, Statistics Canada said.
Alberta leads provincial growth
While Alberta’s 4 per cent population growth was driven in part by international migration, it was also driven by record migration between provinces.
In the past year, Alberta saw 56,245 more people move to the province than leave, the highest annual increase since Statistics Canada began collecting comparative data in 1971/72.
Alberta wasn’t the only province setting records. Seven other provinces also saw their population rates increase to record levels:
- Prince Edward Island at 3.9 percent
- Nova Scotia at 3.2 percent
- New Brunswick at 3.1 percent
- Ontario at 3.0 percent
- Manitoba at 2.9 per cent
- Saskatchewan at 2.6 percent
- Quebec with 2.3 percent
Canada’s population on track to double by 2048
While Quebec’s growth rate set a provincial record, it experienced the second-lowest population growth rate of all provinces after Newfoundland and Labrador, which only grew 1.3 per cent.
Rounding out the provincial growth rates are British Columbia at 3.0 percent, Manitoba at 2.9 percent and Saskatchewan at 2.6 percent.
Statistics Canada said the number of temporary immigrants was highest in three provinces: Ontario was reporting about 1 million non-permanent residents, Quebec about 500,000 and BC 400,000.
Statistics Canada said the country’s fertility rate is now at a record low of 1.33 children per woman, down from 1.44 in 2021.
Only two per cent of Canada’s population growth over the past year came from the difference between births and deaths.
Despite that declining birth rate, Canada’s population could double within 25 years if levels of international migration remain constant in the coming decades.