Canadian population grows by over 1 million in a year for first time

Population records tumble

Canada last year added more than one million new residents for the first time in history.

StatsCanada said Wednesday the country’s population was estimated at 39,566,248 on January 1, 2023, after a record population growth of 1,050,110 people in the prior year.

“This marks the first 12-month period in Canada's history where population grew by over 1 million people, and the highest annual population growth rate (+2.7%) on record since that seen for 1957 (+3.3%),” said the StatsCanada report.

The previous record population growth in 1957 was due to the post-war baby boom and high immigration of refugees following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Canada’s growth rate is far above any other G7 country and is in the top 20 in the world, trailing only African nations. In fact, if growth continues at this pace the Canadian population will double in about 26 years.

Nearly all, 95.9%, of last year's population growth was due to international migration. Temporary immigrants were the leading contributor to Canada’s growth.

Last year, Canada welcomed 437,180 immigrants and saw a net increase of the number of non-permanent residents estimated at 607,782. More than 190,000 Ukrainians have entered Canada since Jan. 1, 2022.

The federal government has been increasing immigration in an attempt to ease historic labour shortages and to counteract an aging population and declining birth rates.

But with many immigrants deciding to settle in a few major centres, StatsCanada noted the rapid rise in growth “could also represent additional challenges for some regions of the country related to housing, infrastructure and transportation, and service delivery to the population.”

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