After celebrating the Canadian population reaching 40 million on June 16, the country’s population was estimated at 40,097,761 on July 1, 2023, an increase of 1,158,705 people (+2.9%) from July 1, 2022.
Canada continued to lead G7 countries for population growth and was likely among the top 20 fastest growing countries in the world. The population growth on July 1, 2023, marks the highest population growth rate recorded for a 12-month period since 1957 (+3.3%), during the Hungarian refugee crisis and at the height of the baby boom. In absolute numbers, the increase observed last year is more than twice the increase observed in 1957 (+555,000). 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.
Canada’s population reaches 40 million
On June 16, 2023, Statistics Canada announced that Canada’s population passed the 40 million mark according to the Canada’s population clock (real-time model). Today’s release of total demographic estimates and related data tables for a reference date of July 1, 2023, is the first since reaching that milestone.
Rise in temporary immigration lifts population growth
Close to 98% of the growth in the Canadian population from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, came from net international migration, with 2% coming from the difference between births and deaths. Fertility reached record-low levels in 2022, with 1.33 children per woman, compared with 1.44 in 2021. More information on births, fertility levels and the most popular baby names in 2022 can be found in the products Fertility indicators, provinces and territories: Interactive dashboard, Baby Names Observatory, and the new infographic Canada’s most popular baby names in 2022.
As of July 1, 2023, an estimated 2,198,679 non-permanent residents lived in Canada, a 46% increase from the same date one year prior (1,500,978). This represents the largest year-over-year increase in the population of non-permanent residents living in Canada since comparable data are available (1971/1972), with the increase in work and study permits accounting for most of the change in the last year. This estimated population of 2.2 million non-permanent residents now outnumbers the 1.8 million Indigenous people enumerated during the 2021 Census of Population.
New estimates of non-permanent residents
Statistics Canada’s demographic estimates benefit from ongoing methodological adjustments in order for the program to adapt to societal, economic, and policy changes. In addition to existing tables on net gains in non-permanent residents for a given period, Statistics Canada is releasing today a new data table on the estimated number of non-permanent residents by type for Canada, the provinces and territories.
These data tables now benefit from the inclusion of family members living with permit holders and include new adjustments to the delays incurred after permits expire, to continue to take into account non-permanent residents living in Canada with an expired permit, and in the process of renewal.
The effect of these new adjustments on the total size of the Canadian population is minimal.
International migration accounted for nearly all growth from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023 (98%), because of a high number of immigrants (468,817) and an increase in the number of non-permanent residents (+697,701). The reported annual increase in the number of non-permanent residents in the country continued to outpace the number of new immigrants, as was first observed in 2022. The number of non-permanent residents holding a work permit was estimated to have reached 1,426,187 on July 1, 2023, up from 868,470 a year prior (+64%) and contributing most to the change in non-permanent residents.
With the continuing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel implemented in March 2022 has helped tens of thousands of Ukrainians relocate to Canada. Most people with this authorization are also permit holders, with the rest consisting mainly of family members living with permit holders.
Growth from coast-to-coast
From July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, Alberta experienced the fastest demographic growth of all provinces and territories at 4.0%. This growth was not only due to international migration but was also the result of record net gains from migratory exchanges between provinces. Alberta saw 56,245 more people moving to the province than leaving it, making these not only the highest annual net interprovincial gains for Alberta, but the highest annual net interprovincial gains ever recorded for any single province or territory since comparable data are available (1971/1972).
During the same period, seven provinces saw their population increase at rates never observed since comparable data exists: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
All three Maritime provinces registered a population growth of at least 3.0%: Prince Edward Island (+3.9%), Nova Scotia (+3.2%), and New Brunswick (+3.1%).
Ontario and British Columbia (+3.0% each) came right after Alberta and the Maritime provinces for population growth, with Manitoba (+2.9%) and Saskatchewan (+2.6%) close behind.
While its population growth hit a record-high of 2.3%, Quebec nonetheless saw the second lowest growth among all provinces.
Despite registering its highest population growth in more than 50 years, Newfoundland and Labrador’s rate was the lowest among provinces, at 1.3%.
The strong growth seen across the country is, in large part, a result of the increase in the number of temporary immigrants. As of July 1, 2023, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia had the largest populations of non-permanent residents. Close to 1 million non-permanent residents lived in Ontario, almost half a million in Quebec and around 400,000 in British Columbia.