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First quarter 2010 (preliminary) (Previous release)

Canada's population has surpassed the 34-million mark. As of April 1, 2010, the population was estimated at 34,019,000, an increase of 88,100 (+0.26%) from January 1, 2010. All four western provinces had growth rates stronger than the national average.

More than two-thirds (71%) of the first-quarter increase was due to net international migration, while 29% was attributable to natural increase.

The increase was smaller than the rise of 91,400 in the same period in 2009. Both factors responsible for the country's demographic growth (natural increase and net international migration) increased at a slower pace.

Despite an increase in the number of immigrants in the first quarter compared with same period a year earlier, Canada's net international migration was down. This was largely a result of a substantial drop in the net number of non-permanent residents.

Atlantic Canada

The population of Newfoundland and Labrador rose by 0.02% to 510,900. It was the first time since 1992 that the province posted a population increase in the first quarter. The increase was mainly due to higher net interprovincial migration (+200).

Prince Edward Island's population grew by 0.23% to 141,600, its largest first-quarter population increase since 1983. The growth was due primarily to a net inflow of 300 in international migration.

Nova Scotia posted a 0.03% drop to 940,500. The decline stemmed essentially from negative natural increase, as the province's total net migration was near zero.

Note to readers

This release provides data on the components of demographic growth in the first quarter of 2010, which contributed to the population estimates as of April 1, 2010.

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

Historical comparisons in this analysis relate to the 1971 to 2010 period, the period covered by the current system of demographic accounts.

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

International migration represents the total movement of population between Canada and other countries that involves a change in the usual place of residence. A distinction is made between 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.

New Brunswick's population expanded by 0.08% to 751,300 on April 1, 2010. The growth was mainly due to the largest first-quarter net inflow in interprovincial migration since 1990 (+400).

Central Canada

Quebec's population grew by 0.20% to 7,886,100 as of April 1, 2010. This was an increase of 16,100, the largest first-quarter increase since 1991. Quebec's natural increase of 5,700 and net international migration of 11,800 remained at high levels.

In Ontario, the population rose by 0.25% to 13,167,900 as of April 1, 2010, its largest first-quarter gain since 2005. The increase was primarily due to the smallest interprovincial migration outflow (-2,100) for a first quarter since 2005.

Western Canada

Manitoba's population grew by 0.30% to 1,232,700, its fastest first-quarter growth rate since 1972. The increase was largely due to a net inflow in international migration of more than 2,600.

As of April 1, 2010, the population of Saskatchewan was estimated at 1,041,700, a 0.36% gain, and the second highest growth rate among the provinces. It was Saskatchewan's largest first-quarter population increase since 1972. The growth stemmed primarily from net inflows in interprovincial migration (+1,300) and international migration (+1,500).

Alberta's population climbed 0.35% to 3,724,800, the smallest first-quarter population increase in the province since 1996. This was mainly due to the province's lowest first-quarter net inflow in interprovincial migration since 1994 (+300).

British Columbia's population grew by 0.37% to just over 4,510,900. It was the third consecutive quarter in which British Columbia led all provinces in population growth rate. Three-quarters of the increase was attributable to net international migration (+12,300). The province also ranked first in net interprovincial migration for a third consecutive quarter (+1,600).

The territories

All three territories posted population growth above the national average in the first quarter: Nunavut (+1.05%), the Northwest Territories (+0.57%) and Yukon (+0.75%).

Nunavut experienced its highest population growth rate since the second quarter of 2002, largely as a result of high net interprovincial migration. The Northwest Territories' growth was mostly due to natural increase. Yukon's growth stemmed primarily from its largest net inflow in international migration since 1971.

Available on CANSIM: tables 051-0005, 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 January to March 2010 issue of Quarterly Demographic Estimates, Vol. 24, no. 1 (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
  First quarter 20091 First quarter 20102 First quarter 2009 and first quarter 2010
  number difference
Total growth 91,449 88,127 -3,322
Natural increase 25,465 25,369 -96
Births 89,701 90,298 597
Deaths 64,236 64,929 693
Net international migration 65,984 62,758 -3,226
Immigration 50,784 57,997 7,213
Net non-permanent residents 23,148 12,724 -10,424
Emigration3 7,948 7,963 15
Updated estimates.
Preliminary estimates.
Emigration also takes into account net temporary emigration and returning emigration.

Table 2

Quarterly demographic estimates
  January 1, 20101 April 1, 20101 January 1 to April 1, 2010
  number % change
Canada 33,930,830 34,018,957 0.26
Newfoundland and Labrador 510,805 510,901 0.02
Prince Edward Island 141,232 141,551 0.23
Nova Scotia 940,744 940,482 -0.03
New Brunswick 750,658 751,273 0.08
Quebec 7,870,026 7,886,108 0.20
Ontario 13,134,455 13,167,894 0.25
Manitoba 1,228,984 1,232,654 0.30
Saskatchewan 1,038,018 1,041,729 0.36
Alberta 3,711,845 3,724,832 0.35
British Columbia 4,494,232 4,510,858 0.37
Yukon 33,992 34,246 0.75
Northwest Territories 43,281 43,529 0.57
Nunavut 32,558 32,900 1.05
Preliminary postcensal estimates.
These estimates are based on 2006 Census population counts adjusted for census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated Indian reserves.