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Canada's population estimates, third quarter 2023

Released: 2023-12-19

Quarterly population estimate — Canada

40,528,396

October 1, 2023

1.1% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — N.L.

540,418

October 1, 2023

0.3% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — P.E.I.

175,853

October 1, 2023

1.2% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — N.S.

1,066,416

October 1, 2023

0.7% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — N.B.

842,725

October 1, 2023

1.0% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — Que.

8,948,540

October 1, 2023

0.8% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — Ont.

15,801,768

October 1, 2023

1.2% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — Man.

1,465,440

October 1, 2023

0.7% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — Sask.

1,218,976

October 1, 2023

0.8% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — Alta.

4,756,408

October 1, 2023

1.3% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — B.C.

5,581,127

October 1, 2023

1.1% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — Y.T.

45,148

October 1, 2023

0.4% increase

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — N.W.T.

44,760

October 1, 2023

-0.5% decrease

(quarterly change)

Quarterly population estimate — Nvt.

40,817

October 1, 2023

0.4% increase

(quarterly change)

Record-high population growth continues, fuelled by strong permanent and temporary immigration

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. At the time, Canada's population was 16.7 million people, and this rapid population growth resulted from the high number of births during the post-war baby boom and high immigration of refugees following the Hungarian Revolution in 1956.

Canada's total population growth for the first nine months of 2023 (+1,030,378 people) had already exceeded the total growth for any other full-year period since Confederation in 1867, including 2022, when there was a record growth.

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%).

International migration continues to be the main source of Canada's population growth

In the third quarter of 2023, the vast majority (96.0%) of the population growth was due to international migration. The rest of this gain (4.0%) was the result of natural increase, or the difference between the number of births and deaths. The contribution of natural increase to population growth is expected to remain low in the coming years because of population aging, lower fertility levels, and the high number of immigrants and non-permanent residents coming to Canada.

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.

From July 1 to October 1, the country saw the number of non-permanent residents continue to increase; the total non-permanent resident population increased from 2,198,679 to 2,511,437. This represents a net increase of 312,758 non-permanent residents in the third quarter, which is the greatest quarterly increase going back to 1971 (when data on non-permanent residents became available). The gain in non-permanent residents was mostly due to an increase in the number of work and study permit holders and, to a lesser extent, an increase in the number of refugee claimants.

Alberta attracts interprovincial migrants from all provinces and territories

All provinces and territories recorded losses in their interprovincial migration exchanges in the third quarter of 2023 except for Alberta, which continued to have the highest net gains (+17,094), and New Brunswick (+21), with a very small gain.

Alberta has registered interprovincial migration gains of 10,000 or more for five consecutive quarters for the first time since comparable data were made available (1971). 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.

Despite the continuous net loss of interprovincial migration in Ontario, which began in the first quarter of 2020, the province showed a smaller net loss in the third quarter of 2023 (-5,952). Meanwhile, the Atlantic provinces observed a negligible or negative net interprovincial migration, which is a contrast to the trends seen from 2020 to 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic, when they recorded strong growth from population exchanges with other provinces and territories. This can be largely attributable to the recent decrease in the number of migrants moving from Ontario to the Atlantic provinces.

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  Note to readers

The demographic estimates for the third quarter of 2023 released today are considered preliminary and will be updated following the standard procedure Statistics Canada has followed for decades.

Upcoming release

Annual demographic estimates by age and gender will be released on February 21, 2024.

Canada's population clock (real-time model)

Canada's population clock (real-time model) was updated today with the most recent data from quarterly population estimates released by Statistics Canada.

Canada's population clock is an interactive learning tool aiming to give Canadians a sense of the pace of the country's population renewal. The population estimates and census counts remain the measures used by various government programs.

Definitions

For the purpose of calculating rates, the denominator is the average population during the period (the average of the start-of-period and end-of-period populations). For the sake of brevity, the terms growth, population growth and population growth rate have the same meaning.

Population growth or total growth in Canada is equal to natural increase (births minus deaths) plus international migratory increase (immigrants plus net non-permanent residents minus net emigration). At the provincial and territorial level, total population growth also includes interprovincial migratory increase.

Net international migration refers to the total number of moves between Canada and abroad that result in a change in the usual place of residence. It is calculated by adding immigrants, returning emigrants and net non-permanent residents, then subtracting emigrants.

An immigrant refers to a person who is a permanent resident or a landed immigrant. Such a person has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Persons who are born abroad to a Canadian parent are not immigrants but are included in the returning emigrant component. For the Centre for Demography, the terms immigrant, landed immigrant and permanent resident refer to the same concept.

Non-permanent resident refers to a person from another country with a usual place of residence in Canada and who has a work or study permit, or who has claimed refugee status (asylum claimant). Family members living with work or study permit holders are also included unless these family members are already Canadian citizens, landed immigrants (permanent residents), or non-permanent residents themselves. For the Centre for Demography, the terms non-permanent resident and temporary immigrant refer to the same concept.

Interprovincial migration represents all movement from one province or territory to another involving a change in the usual place of residence. A person who takes up residence in another province or territory is an out-migrant with reference to the province or territory of origin and an in-migrant with reference to the province or territory of destination.

Acknowledgements

The Demographic Estimates Program of Statistics Canada is grateful for the ongoing support and partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada which greatly contributes to the accuracy of the estimation of non-permanent residents.

Products

The product "Quarterly demographic estimates, provinces and territories: Interactive dashboard" (Catalogue number71-607-X) is available.

The product "Canada's population clock (real-time model)" (Catalogue number71-607-X) is also available.

The Population and demography statistics and Older adults and population aging statistics portals are also available.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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