Quarterly Demographic Estimates
January to March 2018

Release date: June 14, 2018

Highlights

Analysis

Canada's population passes the 37-million mark

According to preliminary population estimates, Canada's population was 37,067,011 on April 1, 2018. The population of Canada grew from 36 to 37 million people in only two years and two months. This was the shortest length of time ever seen in Canada for an increase of this magnitude. By comparison, since 1971, Canada's population grew on average by 1 million once every three years and one month.Note 1

The Canadian population increased by 103,157 between January 1 and April 1, 2018. This quarterly increase is the second highest in number (after 2016) for a first quarter since 1990. Moreover, Canada's population growth rate between January 1 and April 1, 2018 was 0.3%.

Chart A1 Population growth rate, January to March, 1998 to 2018, Canada

Data table for Chart A1
Data table for Chart A1
Table summary
This table displays the results of data for Chart A1. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Year Percent
1998 0.17
1999 0.18
2000 0.22
2001 0.28
2002 0.27
2003 0.22
2004 0.22
2005 0.21
2006 0.23
2007 0.21
2008 0.23
2009 0.25
2010 0.24
2011 0.19
2012 0.24
2013 0.24
2014 0.23
2015 0.13
2016 0.29
2017 0.23
2018 0.28

International migration continues to account for most of the population growth

Nationally, population growth is based on two factors: natural increaseNote 2 and international migratory increase.Note 3 Provincial and territorial population estimates also factor in interprovincial migratory increase.

International migratory increase has remained the main driver of Canada's population growth, with an estimated increase of 88,120 between January 1 and April 1, 2018, the highest level since 1972.Note 4 In Canada, the growth in the last quarter was mostly stimulated by an increase in the number of immigrants (+79,951). This is the second highest gain for a first quarter, after the first quarter of 2016 (+86,245).Note 5

The country also posted a net increase in the number of non-permanent residents (+22,283) in the first quarter of 2018, also up compared with the average in the past few years. In any first quarter, the increase in the number of non-permanent residents was higher on just two occasions: in 2009 (+23,601) and in 1989 (+36,398). This overall increase was explained by the combined effect of an increase in the number of work permit holders, and to a lesser extent an increase in the number of refugee claimants.Note 6 The components of net emigration (emigration, return emigration and the net temporary emigration) remained stable (-14,114).

According to preliminary estimates, natural increase in the first quarter of 2018 was 15,037, the lowest estimated level for all quarters combined.Note 7 Natural increase is the difference between 93,944 births and 78,907 deaths. The number of births is often higher between July and September (the summer months) in Canada because of seasonal movement. A similar phenomenon is observed for deaths, except that there are more deaths in the first quarter from January to March (during the winter season). In the coming years, the natural increase is expected to decrease, primarily as a result of population aging, which results in a growth of the number of deaths recorded each year.

Chart A2 Factors of population growth, January to March, 1998 to 2018, Canada

Data table for Chart A2
Data table for Chart A2
Table summary
This table displays the results of data for Chart A2. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Natural increase, International migratory increase and Population growth, calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Natural increase International migratory increase Population growth
number
1998 21,687 32,449 51,674
1999 20,658 36,381 54,579
2000 23,615 47,030 68,158
2001 23,364 65,652 86,555
2002 20,546 64,733 83,104
2003 20,909 51,107 69,841
2004 20,531 51,112 69,445
2005 18,075 50,030 65,934
2006 24,736 53,349 75,912
2007 22,941 54,104 68,582
2008 27,286 58,364 77,094
2009 27,786 65,141 84,465
2010 29,194 61,556 82,289
2011 24,418 48,786 64,741
2012 27,101 57,564 84,665
2013 22,702 60,303 83,005
2014 22,799 56,889 79,688
2015 19,203 25,939 45,142
2016 20,363 84,147 104,510
2017 16,781 69,027 85,808
2018 15,037 88,120 103,157

The population is growing everywhere except in Newfoundland and Labrador

The population grewNote 8 in all provinces and territories in the first quarter of 2018, except in Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.3%). Nunavut (+0.7%), Ontario and Alberta (+0.4% each) had higher population growth rates than Canada's (+0.3%).

Compared with the same period last year, an increase in the population growth rate was observed in Ontario, Alberta, Yukon and Nunavut (Chart A3). The data also show a shift in the growth rate in New Brunswick from zero to positive.

Chart A3 Population growth rate, January to March, 2017 and 2018, Canada, provinces and territories

Data table for Chart A3
Data table for Chart A3
Table summary
This table displays the results of data for Chart A3. The information is grouped by Provinces and territories (appearing as row headers), 2017, 2018, 2017 (Canada) and 2018 (Canada), calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Provinces and territories 2017 2018 2017 (Canada) 2018 (Canada)
percent
Newfoundland and Labrador -0.17 -0.31 0.23 0.28
Prince Edward Island 0.33 0.23 0.23 0.28
Nova Scotia 0.11 0.10 0.23 0.28
New Brunswick -0.01 0.06 0.23 0.28
Quebec 0.17 0.18 0.23 0.28
Ontario 0.28 0.39 0.23 0.28
Manitoba 0.31 0.13 0.23 0.28
Saskatchewan 0.28 0.13 0.23 0.28
Alberta 0.26 0.35 0.23 0.28
British Columbia 0.26 0.27 0.23 0.28
Yukon 0.17 0.29 0.23 0.28
Northwest Territories 0.30 0.31 0.23 0.28
Nunavut 0.58 0.66 0.23 0.28

International migration is the main source of population growth for most provinces

In the first quarter of 2018, international migratory increase was the main driver of population growth in almost all provinces that posted a population gain and in Yukon. International migratory increase in the first quarter peaked in Quebec and has rarely been this high in the Atlantic provinces (except in Newfoundland and Labrador), in Ontario and in the Northwest Territories. Furthermore, international migration offset interprovincial migratory losses in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. It also compensated for negative natural increase (more deaths than births) in the Atlantic provinces (except in Newfoundland and Labrador).

In Alberta, natural increase and international migratory increase each accounted for 44% of the population growth, with positive interprovincial migration accounting for the rest. Nunavut and the Northwest Territories continued to post the highest rates of natural increase, with 0.4% and 0.3% respectively. Fertility levels in these two territories are among the highest in Canada.Note 9

In Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, an increase in the number of non-permanent residents accounted for part of the international migratory increases. Quebec posted a gain of 7,051 non-permanent residents, a level never before seen for a first quarter.Note 10 In Ontario, the estimated 15,662 non-permanent residents level was the second highest level observed for a first quarter, after 1989 (+25,678). Lastly, British Columbia posted a gain of 3,577 non-permanent residents, a level rarely reached in the past.

Chart A4 Factors of population growth, January to March, 2018, Canada, provinces and territories

Data table for Chart A4
Data table for Chart A4
Table summary
This table displays the results of data for Chart A4. The information is grouped by Provinces and territories (appearing as row headers), Natural increase, International migratory increase, Interprovincial migratory increase and Population growth, calculated using rate (percent) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Provinces and territories Natural increase International migratory increase Interprovincial migratory increase Population growth
rate (percent)
Canada 0.04 0.24 0.00 0.28
Newfoundland and Labrador -0.10 0.00 -0.21 -0.31
Prince Edward Island -0.01 0.36 -0.12 0.23
Nova Scotia -0.06 0.15 0.01 0.10
New Brunswick -0.05 0.09 0.02 0.06
Quebec 0.00 0.19 -0.01 0.18
Ontario 0.04 0.31 0.03 0.39
Manitoba 0.10 0.22 -0.18 0.13
Saskatchewan 0.11 0.23 -0.22 0.13
Alberta 0.16 0.15 0.04 0.35
British Columbia 0.00 0.25 0.02 0.27
Yukon 0.06 0.15 0.07 0.29
Northwest Territories 0.25 0.17 -0.11 0.31
Nunavut 0.41 -0.05 0.29 0.66
Table A1
Population on April 1st 2018 and population growth, first quarter, 2017 and 2018, Canada, provinces and territories
Table summary
This table displays the results of Population on April 1 2018 and population growth, first quarter, 2017 and 2018, Canada, provinces and territories. Population, Population growth for the first quarter, 2017 and 2018, calculated using number and rate (percent) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Population Population growth for the first quarter
2017 2018
number rate (%) number rate (%)
Canada 37,067,011 85,808 0.23 103,157 0.28
Newfoundland and Labrador 525,983 -893 -0.17 -1,630 -0.31
Prince Edward Island 153,116 498 0.33 348 0.23
Nova Scotia 958,400 1,026 0.11 930 0.10
New Brunswick 761,214 -50 -0.01 470 0.06
Quebec 8,455,402 14,308 0.17 15,477 0.18
Ontario 14,374,084 39,508 0.28 55,334 0.39
Manitoba 1,348,809 4,077 0.31 1,816 0.13
Saskatchewan 1,171,240 3,207 0.28 1,488 0.13
Alberta 4,334,025 11,282 0.26 15,253 0.35
British Columbia 4,862,610 12,430 0.26 13,168 0.27
Yukon 38,936 64 0.17 111 0.29
Northwest Territories 44,736 132 0.30 139 0.31
Nunavut 38,456 219 0.58 253 0.66

Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia gain in their migratory exchanges with the other provinces and territories

According to preliminary population estimates, Alberta had positive net interprovincial migration (+1,862) for a third consecutive quarter, following two consecutive years of interprovincial migration losses (not shown). In its exchanges with the other provinces and territories, Alberta's migratory gains came primarily from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. These gains were partially offset by migratory losses to Ontario and Quebec.

In Ontario, net interprovincial migration was positive (+4,024) for an eleventh successive quarter, a first since the early 2000s. Ontario continued to post the highest interprovincial migratory increase in absolute numbers, with migrants coming from most provinces and territories, particularly from Quebec, the Prairie provinces and British Columbia.

British Columbia placed third in terms of the strongest interprovincial gains (+796), pursuing a five-year trend of uninterrupted gains in interprovincial migration. In the first quarter of 2018, interprovincial migrants in British Columbia came primarily from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Nova Scotia, net interprovincial migration remained positive (+90), while modest, for a fifth consecutive quarter, which has not been seen since 1985. These interprovincial gains came at the expense of New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Quebec, interprovincial migration remained negative (-740), although smaller than usual for a first quarter for a second year in a row (-1,836 on average in the first quarter between 2006 and 2016). All quarters combined, the last time net interprovincial migration was greater than zero in Quebec (+15) was in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The first quarter of 2018 (-1,107) marked two consecutive years of interprovincial migratory losses for Newfoundland and Labrador. The last time the province had such a long period of quarterly deficits was in 1991-2007. The following quarters were rather positive until the beginning of 2016. Migratory losses were especially notable in Alberta, following several quarters in which they had subsided.

Manitoba (-2,458) also saw its largest interprovincial migratory losses for a first quarter since 1972, and Saskatchewan (-2,526) had its lowest quarter since 1990. Both provinces had significant outflows to Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Chart A5 Interprovincial migration, January to March 2018, provinces and territories

Data table for Chart A5
Data table for Chart A5
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart A5. The information is grouped by Provinces and territories (appearing as row headers), In-migrants, Out-migrants and Net, calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Provinces and territories In-migrants Out-migrants Net
number
Newfoundland and Labrador 1,484 -2,591 -1,107
Prince Edward Island 778 -957 -179
Nova Scotia 3,956 -3,866 90
New Brunswick 3,110 -2,965 145
Quebec 5,571 -6,311 -740
Ontario 18,974 -14,950 4,024
Manitoba 2,516 -4,974 -2,458
Saskatchewan 3,701 -6,227 -2,526
Alberta 17,065 -15,203 1,862
British Columbia 12,862 -12,066 796
Yukon 463 -436 27
Northwest Territories 572 -619 -47
Nunavut 411 -298 113

Notes

 
Date modified: