Population spiked by almost half a million in the third quarter: StatsCan
Population spiked by almost half a million in the third quarter: StatsCan

Canada’s population increased by over 430,000 people in the third quarter, making it the fastest quarterly population growth since 1957, according to Statistics Canada.

The total population rose to 40.5 million as of Oct. 1, the data shows.

“Canada’s population was estimated at 40,528,396 on October 1, 2023, an increase of 430,635 people (+1.1%) from July 1. This was the highest population growth rate in any quarter since the second quarter of 1957 (+1.2%), when Canada’s population grew by 198,000 people,” reads the report.  

In 1957, Canada’s population was 16.7 million and the spike in immigration that year was the result of the post-war baby boom and a high immigration influx of refugees coming after the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. 

Canada’s total population growth over the first nine months of 2023 has already surpassed the total growth of any other full year, dating back to confederation and including the previous record set in 2022. 

International migration and an increase in non-permanent residents make up the bulk of the new record-high population increase. 

Non-permanent residents grew by about 313,000 from July 1 to Oct. 1, driven by work and study permits, as well as refugee claimants, making it the greatest quarterly increase since 1971 (the year that data on non-permanent residents became available).  

“Population growth rates in the third quarter of 2023 exceeded the national level (+1.1%) in Alberta (+1.3%), Prince Edward Island (+1.2%) and Ontario (+1.2%). The population grew in all provinces and territories, except in the Northwest Territories (-0.5%),” reads the report.

Natural increases to population growth are expected to remain low in the future as Canada’s population is aging and has lower fertility rates.

“Alberta has registered interprovincial migration gains of 10,000 or more for five consecutive quarters,” reads the report. “Most of Alberta’s population gains through interprovincial migration were due to its exchanges with Ontario and British Columbia. In contrast, British Columbia experienced five consecutive quarters of interprovincial migration losses for the first time since the first quarter of 2013.”

The mass interprovincial migration into Alberta has made cities like Calgary unaffordable for residents. Citywide, rents have gone up by 25%, according to data from the City of Calgary.

“Canada welcomed 107,972 immigrants in the third quarter. From January to September 2023, immigration reached 79.8% (371,299) of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s target of 465,000 immigrants for the year,” reads the report.

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