Issue 16-46: Quarterly Population Report

March 16, 2016

  • In the 12 months to December 31 2015, B.C.’s population grew by 0.87%, largely due to international and interprovincial migration

B.C. Highlights

The population of B.C. was estimated at 4,707,021 as of January 1, 2016, growing by 3,082 persons in the fourth quarter of 2015 (up 0.07% from October 1, 2015). Combined net in-migration from all sources (inter-provincial and international) produced a net gain of 1,400 during the fourth quarter of 2015. Broken down, net interprovincial in-migration totalled 3,762 persons in the last quarter. However, international net in-migration totalling −2,362 offset this gain and was mainly driven by a decrease (−8,157) in the number of non-permanent residents (NPRs). Finally, a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 1,682 had a positive impact on population growth in the fourth quarter.

The Last Twelve Months

B.C.’s total population grew by 40,575 persons (+0.87%) over the twelve months ending December 31, 2015, largely due to international and interprovincial migration. On an annual basis, births (+44,159) and immigrants (+35,715) were the largest sources of population growth for the province. Interprovincial migration accounted for a net gain of 16,742 persons from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Consequently, more than three in every four persons added since January 1, 2015 (+31,418) could be attributed to net migration from all sources. The remainder was due to natural increase (+9,157).

National Overview

The population of Canada grew by 62,770 persons (+0.17%) to 36,048,521 during the fourth quarter of 2015. Leading the growth at the provincial and territorial level were Manitoba (+0.41%), Nunavut (+0.40%), Alberta (+0.36%) and Saskatchewan (+0.32%). Prince Edward Island (+0.17%), Ontario (+0.17%), and Quebec (+0.12%) also saw population increases. Yukon was the only jurisdiction with a population decline (−0.25%).

Third Quarter International Migration

Net international in-migration to British Columbia (immigrants plus the net change in NPRs plus returning emigrants less emigrants and persons temporarily abroad) registered a net loss of 2,362 in the fourth quarter. This is a slightly larger net outflow when compared to the net loss of 1,808 reported for the fourth quarter of 2014. While the total number of immigrants arriving in British Columbia from October 1 to December 31 (+9,239) was higher than the same three months in 2014 (+7,687), the relatively large net loss in NPRs in the fourth quarter (−8,157) compares with a smaller net loss (−6,051) for the same quarter in 2014 and thus drove the increase in net outflow. As for persons leaving B.C. for international destinations, an estimated 2,917 left on a permanent basis and 1,343 were away temporarily in the fourth quarter of 2015, relatively unchanged from the same period in 2014.

Third Quarter Interprovincial Migration

Of the three provinces and territories that reported a net gain in population from other Canadian jurisdictions in the fourth quarter of 2015, British Columbia showed the highest net gain. In B.C. an inflow of 10,910 persons was offset by an outflow of 7,148 for a net population gain of 3,762. British Columbia’s net exchange with Alberta was positive, with an estimated 1,640 more persons leaving Alberta for B.C. than those going to Alberta from British Columbia. In addition, B.C. reported positive net in-migration from Ontario (+915) as well as positive gains from most other jurisdictions. Ontario was the second biggest net recipient in the fourth quarter of 2015 with a net gain of 951

Did you know?

Did you know, Canada will see a dramatic boost in the number of refugees it plans to resettle this year to 55,800, up from a target of 24,800 in 2015. The majority of new refugees will be Syrian, in accordance with the government’s commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February, and thousands more throughout the year. It also plans to triple the number of privately sponsored refugees to 18,000 in 2016.

Source: The Globe and Mail, March 8, 2016