Alberta’s population growth has accelerated for a second consecutive year, owing in part to interprovincial migration exchanges, which were positive after three consecutive years of losses, says a report released Monday by Statistics Canada.
The federal agency estimated that population in Alberta as of July was 4.4 million. The 1.6 per cent growth over the previous year was higher than the Canadian average of 1.42 per cent and followed 1.34 per cent growth for the province in the 2017-18 period.
“The high population growth in most provinces was driven by significant international migratory growth. Levels unequalled since the beginning of the current demographic estimate program (July 1971) were observed in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba and Alberta, where international migratory growth remained strong nonetheless,” said StatsCan.
Canada’s population was estimated at 37,589,262 on July 1, 2019, up 531,497 compared with July 1, 2018.
“Such an annual increase in the number of people living in the country is the highest ever observed. This growth also corresponds to adding just over one person every minute,” said the federal agency.
“The country’s population aging continues, with the number of centenarians topping 10,000 for the first time. In addition, baby boomers now account for the majority of seniors. The country’s annual population growth rate for 2018-2019 was 1.4 per cent, the highest percentage growth rate since 1989-1990 (+1.5 per cent).”
The agency said Canada’s population growth rate is the highest among G7 countries. It’s more than twice that of the United States and the United Kingdom (+0.6 per cent each) and far exceeds the growth in Germany (+0.3 per cent) and in France (+0.2 per cent). In the last year, Italy and Japan both recorded population declines (-0.2 per cent each).
“Canada’s sustained population growth is driven mostly (82.2 per cent) by the arrival of a large number of immigrants and non-permanent residents. The difference between births and deaths accounted for a small portion (17.8 per cent) of the growth, a share that is decreasing year after year,” it said.
“Canada admitted 313,580 immigrants in 2018-2019, one of the highest levels in Canadian history. In 2015-2016, Canada received 323,192 permanent immigrants, including nearly 30,000 Syrian refugees.
“The number of non-permanent residents rose by 171,536 in 2018-2019, the largest increase in the country’s history. While also fuelled by rapid growth in asylum claimants, this gain was mainly led by an increase in the number of work and study permit holders. Temporary immigration assists Canada in meeting its labour market needs.”