The demographic landscape of Canada is undergoing an extraordinary transformation, with the population surging to new heights in 2023. As of October 1, 2023, Canada boasts a population of 40,528,396, showcasing a remarkable growth of 430,635 people or 1.1% from July 1 of the same year. This surge is not just significant; it's historical, representing the highest population growth rate in any quarter since the second quarter of 1957.
Alberta's Population Growth: A Resonance of Historical Shifts
In drawing parallels to this current population surge, it evokes memories of historical demographic shifts, specifically akin to the post-war baby boom and the subsequent influx of refugees following the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. It's worth noting that during this period, Canada's population was a modest 16.7 million. The rapid growth experienced during that era was a confluence of factors, prominently characterized by elevated birth rates and substantial immigration.
The Dynamics of Canada's Population Growth in 2023
The expansion witnessed in the initial nine months of 2023 has already eclipsed the growth observed in any complete year since the Confederation in 1867, surpassing even the record-setting growth witnessed in 2022. Notably, during the third quarter of 2023, population growth rates outpaced the national level of 1.1% in specific provinces, including Alberta (1.3%), Prince Edward Island (1.2%), and Ontario (1.2%). This signifies a widespread and notable demographic shift.
The driving force behind Canada's remarkable population surge is predominantly international migration, accounting for an impressive 96.0% of the increase in the third quarter of 2023. The remaining 4.0% is ascribed to natural increase, representing the disparity between births and deaths. However, the influence of natural increase is anticipated to diminish in the future, owing to factors such as population aging and a decline in fertility levels.
In-Depth Exploration of Migration Trends
During the third quarter of 2023, Canada opened its doors to a staggering 107,972 immigrants, achieving nearly 80% of the annual target set by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. Notably, the surge in non-permanent residents was exceptional, witnessing an escalation from 2,198,679 to 2,511,437. This notable upswing, reflecting a net increase of 312,758 non-permanent residents, stands as the most substantial quarterly increase since 1971.
Alberta's Sustained Success in Interprovincial Migration
In the domain of interprovincial migration, Alberta stands prominently with consistent net gains. The province recorded a net gain of 17,094 in the third quarter of 2023, marking an impressive streak of five consecutive quarters with substantial gains. This trend, unprecedented since comparable data became available in 1971, emphasizes Alberta's magnetic appeal to migrants from all provinces and territories. Importantly, the majority of Alberta's gains were facilitated through exchanges with Ontario and British Columbia.
Unraveling Migration Trends in Other Provinces
Interestingly, in the realm of interprovincial migration exchanges during the third quarter of 2023, all provinces and territories, excluding Alberta and New Brunswick, reported losses. New Brunswick, however, saw a modest gain of 21 individuals. On the flip side, British Columbia confronted five consecutive quarters of interprovincial migration losses. It's noteworthy that Ontario's net loss in the third quarter of 2023 decreased compared to previous periods.
The surge witnessed in Canada's population in 2023 stands as an unprecedented phenomenon, shattering records and surpassing historical benchmarks. This remarkable growth is attributed to the prominence of international migration, the substantial increase in non-permanent residents, and Alberta's consistent success in interprovincial migration. As Canada undergoes further transformations, these intricate population dynamics are destined to play a pivotal role in shaping the nation's economic and social landscape in the years to come.