West spurs Canada's population growth
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 | 11:24 PM NT
An influx of new immigrants and a high number of births in the last quarter pushed Canada's population to an estimated 33,739,900 as of July 1, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.
The agency said the population grew by 121,200, or 0.36 per cent, in the second quarter of 2009.
Most of that increase came from net international migration, which totalled 84,800, the second-highest figure for a second quarter since 1972. Statistics Canada makes population comparisons based on quarters because of the seasonality of some demographic events.
The estimated number of births in the quarter was 96,200, the largest number of second-quarter births since 1996, and 1,600 more than last year's second quarter.
The upward trend in births mirrors similar increases in other industrialized nations.
Alberta leads provincial growth
Alberta was the fastest growing province with a growth of 0.59 per cent or about 20,000 new residents in the quarter, but its growth was slower than the previous year, when it had a growth of 0.80 per cent.
Statistics Canada said growth in Alberta slowed because the number of residents from other provinces moving to Alberta declined, though Alberta still led the provinces in interprovincial migration gain with 4,700 net additions.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia also recorded higher than usual population growth.
Prince Edward Island had the highest demographic growth among Eastern provinces, with a 0.53 per cent increase in the quarter, mostly attributable to international immigration. Nunavut had the highest growth among the territories, with an increase of 0.68 per cent.
The remaining provinces and territories had growth rates less than the national average. Ontario's population grew by 0.34 per cent in the quarter, the seventh quarter in a row that its demographic growth has been below the national average.
Statistics Canada said the slowdown was primarily due to lower immigration and more Ontarians leaving for other provinces. Ontario still has 13,069,182 people living in the province, the most in Canada.
Population as of July 1, 2009 :
Newfoundland and Labrador 508,925
Prince Edward Island 140,985
Nova Scotia 938,183
New Brunswick 749,468
British Columbia 4,455,207
Northwest Territories 43,439
(Source: Statistics Canada)