Immigration fuelling Canada population growth

Newly released figures show that Canada’s population is continuing to grow, with international immigration the main driver of population growth – particularly in the country’s larger cities.

“International migration was responsible for just over two-thirds of the population growth of census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in 2013-2014,” a media release from Statistics Canada revealed. “All CMAs with over 1 million inhabitants reported growth rates from international migration of 1 per cent or higher, accounting for most of their population growth (71 per cent).”

In absolute numbers, the Toronto CMA continued to post the highest net international migration with an increase of 79,500 people, or 31 per cent of the total for Canada. However, this proportion represented a decline from 2003/2004, when the Toronto CMA accounted for 48 per cent of all new immigrants. The five Prairie CMAs were the main beneficiaries of the decline in Toronto’s proportion, as their contribution to Canada’s net international migration rose from 9 per cent to 22 per cent in the past decade.

For a third consecutive year, the four fastest growing CMAs were in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with Calgary (+3.6 per cent) reporting the largest total population growth. It was followed by the CMAs of Edmonton (+3.3 per cent), Saskatoon (+3.2 per cent) and Regina (+2.8 per cent). Kelowna, British Columbia (+1.8 per cent), Winnipeg, Manitoba (+1.6 per cent) and Toronto, Ontario (+1.5 per cent) were the only other CMAs in the country to post population growth rates higher than the national CMA average rate (+1.4 per cent).

Canada’s official population is now recorded as being 35,540,419 million people – an increase of more than 380,000 people from a year earlier.