Issue 16-184: Quarterly Population Highlights

September 28, 2016

B.C. Highlights

The population of B.C. was estimated at 4,751,612 as of July 1, 2016, growing by 21,935 persons in the second quarter of 2016 (up 0.5% from April 1, 2016). This is the largest second quarter growth recorded in the last two decades.

Combined net in-migration from all sources (inter-provincial and international) totalled 19,210 persons during the second quarter of 2016. Broken down, net interprovincial in-migration contributed 8,071 persons to population growth while net international in-migration added 11,139 persons. Finally, a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 2,725 had a positive impact on population growth in the second quarter.

The Last Twelve Months

B.C.’s total population grew by 58,659 persons (+1.25%) over the twelve months ending June 30, 2016, largely due to international and interprovincial migration. On an annual basis, births (+44,495) and interprovincial arrivals (+67,550) were the largest sources of population growth for the province. Net interprovincial migration accounted for a gain of 23,260 and net international migration added 26,229 persons from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Consequently, more than four in every five persons added since July 1, 2015 could be attributed to net migration from all sources (+49,489). The remainder was due to natural increase (+9,170).

National Overview

The population of Canada grew by 139,645 persons (+0.39%) to 36,286,425 during the second quarter of 2016. Leading the growth at the provincial and territorial level were Yukon (+0.71%), Nunavut (+0.62%), Prince Edward Island (+0.59%), Manitoba (+0.48%), Saskatchewan (+0.46%) and British Columbia (+0.46%). With the exception of Northwest Territories, all remaining jurisdictions also experienced population increases during the second quarter.

Second 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 gain of 11,139 in the second quarter. This is a noticeable increase when compared to the net gain of 3,509 reported for the second quarter of 2015. This second quarter gain is driven by the total number of immigrants arriving in British Columbia from April 1 to June 30 (+11,337, compared to +9,217 registered during the same three months in 2015). In addition, the second quarter NPRs showed a positive net change (+2,527) compared to a net loss in the second quarter of 2015 (−2,993). As for persons leaving B.C. for international destinations, an estimated 2,913 left on a permanent basis and 1,386 were away temporarily in the second quarter of 2016.

Second Quarter Interprovincial Migration

Of the four provinces and territories that reported a net gain in population from other Canadian jurisdictions in the second quarter of 2016, British Columbia showed by far the highest. In B.C. an inflow of 22,358 persons was offset by an outflow of 14,287 for a net population gain of 8,071. British Columbia’s net exchange with Alberta was positive, with an estimated 3,629 more persons leaving Alberta for B.C. than those going to Alberta. In addition, B.C. reported positive net in-migration from Ontario (+1,993) as well as positive gains from most other jurisdictions. Ontario was the second highest net recipient in the second quarter of 2016 with a net gain of 3,312 interprovincial migrants.

Did you know?

Statistics Canada recently reported that "Canadians' overwhelming response enabled the 'best ever' Census in 2016". The overall collection response rate of 98.4 per cent for the 2016 Census of Population is higher than for both the 2011 and 2006 Census programs.

As part of the 2016 Census, some Canadian households received the mandatory long form (or National Household Survey). This form asks questions about a broad range of household properties, including some information about the mobility of the respondents. This information provides some indication of how the population within Canada and its provinces/territories have changed over the last year or since the last census. When viewing the quarterly population changes in this document, it is clear that movement within Canada's borders - or interprovincial migration, as well as international migration play a significant part in how the population evolves over time.