Canada’s Population Growing at Fastest Pace in 65 Years: StatCan

Canada’s Population Growing at Fastest Pace in 65 Years: StatCan
The Canadian flag flies near the Peace tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 17, 2020. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

Canada’s population surpassed 40 million this summer, owing to an unprecedented surge in new arrivals, while marking the country's fastest growth since 1957, according to Statistics Canada.

“This represents the largest year-over-year increase in the population of non-permanent residents living in Canada since comparable [1971-72] data,” StatCan said in a Sept. 27 release.

The agency said Canada's population grew by 1,158,705 people in the year following July 1, 2022.

"If the rate of population growth seen this past year remained constant in the future, it would lead to the Canadian population doubling in 25 years," said the release.

The annual growth is more than twice the previous record of 555,000 set in 1957 during the apex of the baby boom, and also when Canada welcomed more than 37,500 Hungarian refugees who fled their country’s failed uprising against the Soviets.

The rate of population growth during the year preceding July 1—of which 98 percent comprised international arrivals—cemented Canada’s ranking as the G7’s fastest-growing country, and placed it among the 20 fastest-growing nations in the world, StatCan said.

However, domestically, Canada’s fertility rate fell to 1.33 children per woman in 2011, down from 1.44 a year earlier.

Canada received 468,817 immigrants and 697,701 non-permanent residents, including permit workers and students, during the aforementioned period. StatCan estimates that as of July 1, 2023, there were 2,198,679 non-permanent residents living in Canada, increasing by 46 percent year-over-year. That is also the largest annual increase of non-permanent residents in the country since 1971-72 when the data became available.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) official immigration quotas, Canada will see 410,000 to 505,000 arrivals this year, 430,000 to 542,500 in 2024, and 442,500 to 550,00 in 2025.

Alberta grew by 4 percent, the fastest pace of growth of all provinces and territories, due to interprovincial migration. The province also had 56,245 more people move to it than leave it, setting a Canadian record for interprovincial migration.

Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick respectively grew by 3.9 percent, 3.2 percent, and 3.1 percent; Ontario and British Columbia saw their population increase by 3 percent; Manitoba and Saskatchewan grew by 2.9 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively; and Quebec’s population rose by 2.3 percent.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s population only increased by 1.3 percent but it was the fastest pace of growth the province has seen in over half a century.


The rapid increase in population is putting a strain on an already tight housing market. The Rent Report from says the average asking rent rose to a record high of $2,117 in August. The Canadian Real Estate Association says the national average price of a home was $650,140 last month, increasing by 2.1 percent from August 2022.
The Liberal government has responded by focusing on supply-side solutions. Immigration Minister Marc Miller told reporters on Sept. 13 that he had no intention of revising the IRCC’s quotas, while conceding that affordability woes are mounting.

“I think it’s just a fact,” he said. “If you look at affordability issues, people at the end of the month trying to make ends meet, that’s just the fact, whether you’re in downtown Montreal or in rural Saskatchewan.”

On Sept. 10, Housing Minister Sean Fraser said he’s amendable to lowering annual international student visas, but that it would require “monumental change in the way Canada does immigration.”

“That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, but it does mean if we’re seeking to make a permanent change to how Canada’s immigration laws operate, we have to do it right and in partnership with other levels of government who have jurisdiction over education and institutions,” he said.