People & Culture

Canada's population surpasses 36 million

International migration is the biggest factor driving population growth in Canada, agency says
  • Mar 16, 2016
  • 195 words
  • 1 minutes
Canada's population is growing more as a result of international migration than natural increase, according to the latest Statistics Canada demographics report. (Photo: Renaud Philippe/CanGeo Archives)
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Canada’s population has surpassed 36 million, mainly as a result of international migration in 2015, according to the latest estimates from Statistics Canada.

As of January 1st, 2016, the population of Canada was 36,048,500, the agency said in a report released on March 16th. In the last three months of 2015, natural increase (the difference between births and deaths) was 27,400, while net international migration was 35,400. In all, Canada welcomed 271,700 migrants in 2015 – up more than four per cent from 2014.

All provinces and territories saw positive population growth rates in the last quarter of 2015, except for the Yukon, which saw its population decline as people left for other provinces. The Prairie provinces and Nunavut continue to lead the way in population growth.

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Population growth rate by province, October–December 2015. (Map: Alexandra Pope)

Nationally, population growth slowed somewhat in 2015 compared to 2014. According to StatsCan, the total fertility rate in Canada has been below replacement levels for more than 40 years, meaning on average, couples are no longer having enough children to replace them. Assuming a continuation of this trend, deaths could start exceeding births in Canada by 2030.

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