According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s population has reached 35,158,300 – an increase of 404,000 or 1.2 per cent over the previous year.
The figures are based on the nation’s population as of July 1, 2013 and the rate of increase closely follows the average annual gains of 1.1 per cent over the past 30 years.
Demographic growth rate, Canada, year ending June 30, 1983 to 2013
Between 2006 and 2011, Canada’s population growth rate (+5.3%) was the highest among the G8 countries. Population growth for other G8 countries ranged from a 0.8 per cent decline in Germany to a 3.4 per cent gain in the United States and the United Kingdom. Among industrialized countries, Canada’s population growth fell below the estimated rates for countries such as Luxembourg (+8.7%), Ireland (+7.8%) and Australia (+7.6%).
Since 1993/1994, net international migration has been the main source of population growth for Canada. From July 1, 2012, to July 1, 2013, it was responsible for two-thirds of the country’s population growth.
For the year ending June 30, 2013, population growth was lower in the Atlantic provinces and negative in Nova Scotia (-0.5%), while generally higher in the Western provinces. Growth exceeded the national level (+1.2%) in Alberta (+3.4%), Nunavut (+2.5%) and Saskatchewan (+1.9%).
Record levels of international migration and interprovincial migration to the province explain this growth in Alberta. In the Atlantic provinces, low growth was mainly explained by a low natural increase and interprovincial migration losses, which reached a six-year high.
Demographic growth rate by province and territory, Canada, year ending June 30, 2013
In the last 30 years, the populations of the Prairie provinces and British Columbia combined have grown substantially (+39.5%), while the Atlantic provinces have seen their populations edge up 3.5 per cent. By comparison, Canada’s population increased by 32.4 per cent during this period.
Since 1983, the population share of the Western provinces has increased by 2.2 percentage points, reaching 31.2 per cent on July 1, 2013, compared with a decrease of 2.3 percentage points for the Atlantic provinces with a population share of 6.7 per cent.
In turn, the population of Ontario grew almost twice as rapidly (+39.8%) as that of Quebec (+21.0%) during this period. Among the provinces, Alberta has recorded the strongest growth since 1983, with an increase of 50.8 per cent. Population growth in the territories was 43.5 per cent for the same period.
On July 1, 2013, three-quarters of Canadians were living in three provinces: Ontario (38.5%), Quebec (23.2%) and British Columbia (13.0%).
Population shares by province and territory, Canada, July 1, 1983 and 2013
Provincial differences in the intensity of the population growth in the past 30 years can be attributed to several factors. For example, interprovincial migration was generally more favourable to the Western provinces and less favourable to the Atlantic provinces.
Natural increase was generally higher in the Prairie provinces and in the territories and lower in the Atlantic provinces. Finally, a greater influx of international migrants was observed in Ontario and British Columbia.
Source: Statistics Canada
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