The latest quarterly statistics released last month by the provincial government indicate there are 5,110,917 people living in British Columbia.
This is the population estimate as of January 1, 2020, with 5,341 people added in the fourth quarter of 2019.
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Throughout 2019, BC’s total population went up by 79,025, increasing by 1.6% compared to the previous year.
Most of this growth is attributed to international migration, with a net gain of 64,441 international migrants. In comparison, interprovincial migration created a net gain of 9,551 people during this period, while natural increase by birth added another 5,032 people.
Here is the breakdown for the population shift in BC in the fourth quarter of 2019, between October 1 and December 31:
- Interprovincial migration: +1,885
- Add interprovincial arrivals: +10,022
- Minus interprovincial departures: -8,137
- International migration: +2,932
- Add immigrants: +11,778
- Minus total net emigrants: -3,514
- Add non-permanent residents: -5,332
- Natural increase: +524
- Add births: +10,394
- Minus deaths: -9,870
It remains to be seen how COVID-19 could impact 2020’s population change patterns, with international air travel largely curbed, domestic air travel significantly down, the US-Canada border closed for non-essential travel, and physical distancing and social isolation in force.
For over two weeks, the federal government has also told three million Canadians living abroad to return home as soon as possible while there are still commercial flight options for repatriation.
And of course, the provincial government’s physical distancing measures and the healthcare system’s capacity could be a factor in mortality numbers.
Overall, it is estimated Canada added 97,303 people in 2019’s fourth quarter, increasing the nation’s population to 37,894,799. These are the rates of change for each province and territory over the period:
- British Columbia: +0.1%
- Alberta: +0.4%
- Saskatchewan: +0.26%
- Manitoba: +0.27%
- Ontario: +0.36%
- Quebec: +0.17%
- Newfoundland: -0.11%
- New Brunswick: -0.004%
- Nova Scotia: +0.07%
- Yukon: +0.14%
- Northwest Territories: +0.02%
- Nunavut: +0.58%