Close to 52.6 million Canadians by 2061
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Canada's population growth has been defined by three broad demographic patterns. From 1851 to 1900, the population grew slowly as high mortality offset high fertility. Then, from 1901 to 1945, growth generally accelerated despite the two world wars, notably because of immigration to Western Canada. The second half of the twentieth century saw even faster population growth because of the baby boom and strong immigration.
From 2001 to 2006, Canada's population grew at an average annual rate of around 1.0%, owing largely to immigration. This was similar to the rate of the United States but higher than the average rate of Europe 15 countries (the EU members before the May 2004 expansion). Compared with all other G8 countries, Canada had the largest net international migration as a proportion of population growth.
Growth is expected to continue so that Canada could have up to 52.6 million inhabitants by 2061 (under a medium-growth population projection). However, Canada's population growth is expected to fall off somewhat, mainly because of a decline in natural increase.