Immigrants Boost Western Population Growth : Stats Can

Immigrants boost western population growth: StatsCan

Canwest News Service
Published: Thursday, March 26, 2009

OTTAWA — International immigration fuelled an increase in Canada's population in the last quarter of 2008, particularly in the western provinces, Statistics Canada said Thursday.

The new figures show a population increase of 0.19%, the fastest fourth-quarter growth rate since 1992, the agency said.

“The increased pace in population growth can be explained by a marked increase in net international migration…” Statistics Canada said in a news release.

The increase brings Canada's population to an estimated 33,504,700, up 63,400 from October 1, 2008.

During the fourth quarter of 2008, the net international migration to Canada rose to 35,700, an increase of 7,700 compared with the same period in 2007.

The figures show a population increase in every province and territory with the exceptions of Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.

All four provinces west of Ontario posted growth rates higher than the national level, with Alberta posting the biggest increase at 0.60%.

Statistics Canada says Alberta received 5,200 immigrants, a level not seen in a fourth quarter since 1981 and was also boosted by an increase in interprovincial migration.

Ontario continues to be less attractive for new immigrants, the agency found. Ontario's population growth was below the national average, at 0.08%.

All of the Atlantic provinces, except for Prince Edward Island, saw an increase in population growth.

The largest demographic growth in the east was in New Brunswick at 0.07% and was due to both interprovincial and international migration.

The number of births continues to rise in Quebec. Statistics Canada says during the fourth quarter of 2008, the province saw a 3.9% increase in births compared with the same period in the previous year. An increase in the number of births was also noted in some other provinces, particularly in the West, but not on the same scale as Quebec.


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