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Fourth quarter 2009 (preliminary) (Previous release)

Canada's population was estimated at 33,930,800 as of January 1, 2010, an increase of 57,500 or 0.17% from the level at October 1, 2009. Population growth remains fastest in Western Canada, with all provinces in the region recording percentage increases above the national level.

The population increase in the fourth quarter of 2009 was lower than the increase of 64,600 recorded for the same period in 2008. The two contributors to the country's population growth (natural increase and net international migration) both rose at a slightly slower pace.

The net inflow from international migration in the fourth quarter of 2009 amounted to 27,900, compared with 34,500 in the same quarter a year earlier. This was mostly a result of a larger decrease in non-permanent residents.

Atlantic Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador's population reached 510,800, up 0.10% from October 1, 2009, its fastest fourth-quarter growth rate since 1992. The main factor of the province's growth was a net inflow of 700 people resulting from interprovincial migration.

Prince Edward Island's population declined 0.10%. This was due primarily to a net outflow to interprovincial migration of about 400 people.

Nova Scotia's population was up 0.04%, while New Brunswick posted a 0.03% increase. These increases were mainly attributable to a net inflow from interprovincial migration. Nova Scotia's net inflow of 400 was its largest for a fourth quarter since 1999.

Central Canada

Quebec's population rose 0.17% to 7,870,000, the fastest fourth-quarter increase since 1988. The province recorded its first net inflow from interprovincial migration since 2003 for a fourth quarter.

In Ontario, the population rose by 0.12% to 13,134,500, the fastest fourth-quarter increase since 2003. Ontario's net outflow resulting from interprovincial migration was the smallest for a fourth quarter since 2001.

Western Canada

Manitoba's population increased by 0.23%. This growth was mostly due to a net inflow of 2,300 from international migration, which more than offset a net outflow from interprovincial migration.

The population of Saskatchewan rose by 0.29%, largely due to a net inflow from both interprovincial and international migration. Saskatchewan's population has been increasing since the second quarter of 2006.

Alberta's population increased 0.21% to just over 3,711,800, despite a net outflow of close to 2,800 people from interprovincial migration. This was the highest net outflow for any quarter since 1988. It was the second consecutive quarter of net outflow to interprovincial migration for Alberta.

Note to readers

This release provides data on the components of demographic growth of the fourth quarter of 2009 which contributed to the population estimates as of January 1, 2010.

The release also presents a brief analysis on recent demographic developments in population change at both the Canadian and provincial/territorial levels.

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 fourth quarters of 2008 and 2009.

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.

Non-permanent residents (also called temporary residents) are people from another country who have a work or study permit, or who are refugee claimants, and family members living in Canada with them.

British Columbia's population rose by 14,300, or 0.32%, to just over 4,494,200. It was the second consecutive quarter in which the province recorded the fastest population increase among the provinces.

The increase was due mainly to a net inflow of about 9,000 people from international migration, the largest in the nation. At 2,300, British Columbia also posted the largest net inflow from interprovincial migration in the country.

The territories

All three territories posted population increases: Nunavut (+0.38%), the Northwest Territories (+0.09%) and Yukon (+0.09%).

The main factor of growth in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories was natural increase. In Yukon, the increase was due to both natural increase and net inflow from interprovincial migration.

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 October to December 2009 issue of Quarterly Demographic Estimates, Vol. 23, no. 4 (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
  Fourth quarter 20081 Fourth quarter 20092 Fourth quarter 2008 and fourth quarter 2009
  number difference
Total growth 64,572 57,473 -7,099
Natural increase 30,063 29,610 -453
Births 92,348 93,731 1,383
Deaths 62,285 64,121 1,836
Net international migration 34,509 27,863 -6,646
Immigration 53,544 56,370 2,826
Net non-permanent residents -8,349 -17,765 -9,416
Emigration3 10,686 10,742 56
Updated estimates.
Preliminary estimates.
Emigration also takes into account net temporary emigration and returning emigration.

Table 2

Quarterly demographic estimates
  October 1, 20091 January 1, 20101 October 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010
  number % change
Canada 33,873,357 33,930,830 0.17
Newfoundland and Labrador 510,272 510,805 0.10
Prince Edward Island 141,374 141,232 -0.10
Nova Scotia 940,397 940,744 0.04
New Brunswick 750,457 750,658 0.03
Quebec 7,856,881 7,870,026 0.17
Ontario 13,119,251 13,134,455 0.12
Manitoba 1,226,196 1,228,984 0.23
Saskatchewan 1,034,974 1,038,018 0.29
Alberta 3,703,979 3,711,845 0.21
British Columbia 4,479,934 4,494,232 0.32
Yukon 33,963 33,992 0.09
Northwest Territories 43,244 43,281 0.09
Nunavut 32,435 32,558 0.38
Preliminary postcensal estimates.
These estimates are based on 2006 Census population counts adjusted for census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated Indian reserves.