Canada's population estimates

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Third quarter 2010 (preliminary) (Previous release)

As of October 1, 2010, Canada's population was estimated at 34,238,000, an increase of 129,300 (+0.4%) from July 1, 2010. During the third quarter, 84,200 immigrants arrived in Canada, 8,800 more than in the same quarter of 2009.

The increase in immigration was experienced by most of Canada's provinces and territories. Some of them had the highest quarterly immigration levels since 1971, the first year covered by the current system of demographic accounts.

Despite the increase in immigration, Canada's third-quarter population growth was only slightly higher than what was observed for the same quarter in 2009. The increase in immigration was partly offset by a decline in the net inflow of non-permanent residents.

Atlantic Canada

The population of Newfoundland and Labrador was estimated at 509,200 on October 1, 2010. Despite a net gain in international migration, it was the only province to post a population decline in the third quarter.

Prince Edward Island had the nation's highest third-quarter growth rate. Its population increased by nearly 1,000 (+0.7%) to 143,200. The increase was largely due to immigration, as the province received 1,200 immigrants, the highest number since 1971.

Nova Scotia's population grew by 1,400 (+0.1%) to 943,900. The increase was in part attributable to a net inflow of non-permanent residents (+1,400).

New Brunswick's population totalled 752,800 as of October 1, up by 1,100 (+0.1%). The increase was primarily attributable to immigration, as the province received around 700 immigrants, the highest level observed since the second quarter of 1976.

Note to readers

This release presents preliminary postcensal population estimates as of October 1, 2010 and preliminary estimates of the demographic growth during the third quarter of 2010.

The estimates presented in this release are subject to revision. Future modifications could affect the analysis of trends, particularly where the numbers are small or the net change is close to zero.

Unless otherwise stated, historical comparisons in this analysis relate to the period between 1971 and 2010, the time frame covered by the current system of demographic accounts.

Natural increase is the variation in population size over a given period as a result of the difference between the number of births and the number of deaths.

Net interprovincial migration is the variation in population over a given period as a result of movements of population between the provinces and territories of the country that involve a change in the usual place of residence.

Net international migration is the variation in population over a given period as a result of movements of population between Canada and other countries that involve a change in the usual place of residence. A distinction is made between immigrants, emigrants, returning emigrants, net temporary emigrants and net non-permanent residents.

Non-permanent residents (also called temporary residents) are people from another country who have a work or study permit, or who are refugee claimants, and family members living in Canada with them.

Net migration is the difference between the number of arrivals and the number of departures. It can have a positive or negative sign. Net migration is positive when the number of arrivals exceeds the number of departures and negative when the opposite is true. A distinction is usually made between net interprovincial migration and net international migration.

Central Canada

Quebec's population grew by 24,800 (+0.3%) to 7,932,100 during the third quarter. The province received 16,800 immigrants, the highest level since 1971.

During the third quarter, Quebec's net interprovincial migration was close to zero, meaning that its number of in-migrants coming from other parts of the country equalled the number of people leaving the province for another location in Canada. With only a few exceptions, Quebec usually experiences losses in its migration exchanges with the other provinces and territories.

Ontario's population totalled 13,268,600 on October 1, 2010, an increase of 57,900 (+0.4%). Net international migration, the most important factor in the province's population growth, accounted for nearly 70% of Ontario's third-quarter population increase.

Western Canada

Manitoba's population as of October 1, 2010 was estimated at 1,240,000, up by 4,600 (+0.4%). The growth was primarily attributable to net international migration, estimated at 4,100. Manitoba received nearly 4,700 immigrants in the third quarter, the highest level since 1971.

Saskatchewan's population increased by 4,100 (+0.4%) to reach 1,049,700 as of October 1. More than 60% of this growth was due to net international migration. Saskatchewan's net interprovincial migration during the third quarter, which was slightly above zero, was much lower than in the same period in 2009.

Alberta's population rose by 14,100 (+0.4%) to 3,735,100 in the third quarter. Unlike the situation in other provinces where migration is the key factor of population growth, nearly 60% of Alberta's growth was due to natural increase, a much higher proportion than in any other province.

British Columbia posted an increase of 20,900 (+0.5%) in the third quarter as its population reached 4,551,900. The province received more than 13,200 immigrants in the third quarter, its highest level of immigration since the first quarter of 1997.

The territories

The population of the three territories was virtually unchanged in the third quarter. As of October 1, 2010, the Yukon's population was estimated at 34,500, compared with 43,800 for the Northwest Territories and 33,300 for Nunavut.

Available on CANSIM: tables 051-0005, 051-0006, 051-0017 to 051-0020, 051-0037, 051-0045 and 053-0001.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey numbers, including related surveys, 3231, 3233 and 3601.

The July to September 2010 issue of Quarterly Demographic Estimates, Vol. 24, no. 3 (91-002-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

For more information, to obtain additional data, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-767-5611; 613-951-2320; fax: 613-951-2307; demography@statcan.gc.ca), Demography Division.