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Third quarter 2009 (preliminary) (Previous release)

On October 1, 2009, Canada's population was estimated at 33,873,400. In the third quarter, Canada's population grew by 133,500 (+0.40%). Although down slightly from 2008, this was the strongest demographic growth for this time of year since 1990. Net international migration (+90,500) accounted for just over two-thirds of the increase. As was the case in 2008, net international migration topped the 90,000 mark in the third quarter.

Stronger demographic growth continues in the western provinces

British Columbia had a higher population growth rate than any other province in the third quarter (+0.56%). In addition to a sustained international contribution, the province recorded its largest quarterly interprovincial migration gain (+3,500) since the third quarter of 2007. That gain was also the largest interprovincial migration gain in the third quarter.

For the first time since 1994, Alberta posted a third-quarter loss in interprovincial migration. Even so, Alberta's population grew by 0.44% in the third quarter. While this was the province's lowest third-quarter population growth since 2000, it was still above the Canadian average.

Saskatchewan (+0.47%) and Manitoba (+0.35%) recorded population increases in the third quarter. Their demographic growth was mostly due to international migration, which was at the highest levels seen at this time of the year since 1971. For Manitoba, it was the largest third-quarter population growth since 1983.

Sharp decline in interprovincial migration losses for Ontario and Quebec

In the third quarter, Ontario had a population increase of 0.38%, mainly because of net international migration. Ontario's net interprovincial migration (-1,700) was at its highest level since 2002.

Quebec's population grew by 0.36% in the third quarter, primarily as a result of international migration. It was the province's highest quarterly demographic growth rate for any quarter since 1988. The acceleration in Quebec's population growth was largely attributable to a substantial decrease in interprovincial migration losses. For the first time since 1994, Quebec posted gains in its third-quarter migration exchanges with Alberta.

Population increases in all Atlantic provinces

For the second consecutive quarter, every one of the Atlantic provinces had an increase in population. Interprovincial migration accounted for most of Newfoundland and Labrador's population growth, while international migration was the main contributor to the increases for the other three Atlantic provinces. All of the Atlantic provinces except Prince Edward Island posted interprovincial migration gains in the third quarter.

Newfoundland and Labrador posted its highest rate of population growth for a third quarter (+0.26%) since 1982. The acceleration in demographic growth was largely due to net international migration. The province posted gains in its migration exchanges with the rest of the country for a fifth consecutive quarter.

Prince Edward Island's population grew by 0.28% in the third quarter, despite losses in its migration exchanges with the rest of the country. It was the province's fourth consecutive quarter of negative net interprovincial migration.

Note to readers

Due to the seasonality of demographic events, comparisons are made against the same quarter. Unless otherwise stated, the comparisons presented in the text concern the third quarters of 2008 and 2009.

The natural increase is the variation in population size over a given period as a result of the difference between the number of births and deaths.

International migration represents a movement of population between Canada and a foreign country that involves a change in the usual place of residence. A distinction is made with regard to immigrants, emigrants, returning emigrants, net temporary emigrants and net non-permanent residents.

In the third quarter, Nova Scotia's population increased by 0.24%, its highest quarterly growth rate since 1989. Nova Scotia recorded its largest interprovincial migration gains for that period of the year (+300) since 1992.

New Brunswick's population increased by 0.13%, its highest quarterly growth rate for any quarter since 1991. The province posted its first third-quarter gains in interprovincial migration exchanges since 1990.

In the North

Yukon (+0.92%) and Nunavut (+0.78%) had population increases in the third quarter. Yukon's demographic growth was largely due to interprovincial migration gains, while in Nunavut, the main contributor was natural increase.

Only the Northwest Territories had a population decrease in the third quarter (-0.45%). The decline was primarily attributable to negative net interprovincial migration (-400).

Available on CANSIM: tables 051-0004 to 051-0006, 051-0017 to 051-0020, 051-0037, 051-0045 and 053-0001.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 3231, 3233 and 3601.

The July to September 2009 issue of Quarterly Demographic Estimates, Vol. 23, no. 3 (91-002-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

For more information, to obtain additional data, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-767-5611; 613-951-2320; fax: 613-951-2307;, Demography Division.

Table 1

Components and factors of demographic growth
  Third quarter 20081 Third quarter 20092 Third quarter 2008 and third quarter 2009
  number difference
Total growth 135,290 133,498 -1,792
Natural increase 42,880 43,043 163
Births 99,504 100,953 1,449
Deaths 56,624 57,910 1,286
Net international migration 92,410 90,455 -1,955
Immigration 71,312 75,384 4,072
Net non-permanent residents 32,094 26,222 -5,872
Emigration3 10,996 11,151 155
Updated estimates.
Preliminary estimates.
Emigration also takes into account net temporary emigration and returning emigration.

Table 2

Quarterly demographic estimates
  July 1, 20091 October 1, 20091 July 1 to October 1, 2009
  number % change
Canada 33,739,859 33,873,357 0.40
Newfoundland and Labrador 508,925 510,272 0.26
Prince Edward Island 140,985 141,374 0.28
Nova Scotia 938,183 940,397 0.24
New Brunswick 749,468 750,457 0.13
Quebec 7,828,879 7,856,881 0.36
Ontario 13,069,182 13,119,251 0.38
Manitoba 1,221,964 1,226,196 0.35
Saskatchewan 1,030,129 1,034,974 0.47
Alberta 3,687,662 3,703,979 0.44
British Columbia 4,455,207 4,479,934 0.56
Yukon 33,653 33,963 0.92
Northwest Territories 43,439 43,244 -0.45
Nunavut 32,183 32,435 0.78
Preliminary postcensal estimates.
These estimates are based on 2006 Census population counts adjusted for census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated Indian reserves.