Issue 17-115: Quarterly Population Highlights

September 27, 2017

B.C. Highlights

The population of B.C. was estimated at 4,817,160 as of July 1, 2017, growing by 21,269 persons in the second quarter of 2017 (up 0.44% from April 1, 2017).

Combined net in-migration from all sources (inter-provincial and international) totaled 19,137 persons during the second quarter of 2017, lower than the same quarter in 2016. Broken down, net interprovincial in-migration contributed 5,034 persons to population growth while net international in-migration added 14,103 persons, due to an increase in the number of immigrants and non-permanent residents. Finally, a natural increase (births minus deaths) of +2,132 contributed to population growth in the second quarter.

The Last Twelve Months

B.C.’s total population grew by 59,502 persons (+1.25%) over the twelve months ending June 30, 2017, a growth mostly attributed to international and interprovincial migration. On an annual basis, births (+44,764) and interprovincial arrivals (+65,119) were the largest sources of population growth for the province. Net interprovincial migration accounted for a gain of 16,163 and net international migration added 36,682 persons from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.  More than four in every five persons added since July 1, 2016 could be attributed to net migration from all sources (+52,845). The remainder was due to natural increase (+6,657).

B.C. population as of April 1, 2017

National Overview

The population of Canada grew by 147,307 persons (+0.40%) to 36,708,083 during the second quarter of 2017, a slighly higher growth than in the same quarter of 2016. Leading the growth at the provincial and territorial level were Nunavut (+0.90%), Prince Edward Island (+0.83%), Ontario (+0.49%), Yukon Territory (+0.49%), Manitoba (+0.46%) and British Columbia (+0.44%). With the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador and 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) resulted in a gain of 14,103 in the second quarter. This compares to a net gain of 12,174 in the second quarter of 2016. The total number of immigrants arriving in British Columbia from April 1 to June 30 was substantial at 10,163. A net gain in NPRs of 6,253 further increased net international in-migration. In comparison, a net gain of 2,751 NPRs occurred during the same quarter of 2016. As for persons leaving B.C. for international destinations, an estimated 2,833 left on a permanent basis and 1,378 were away temporarily in the second quarter of 2017.

Second Quarter Interprovincial Migration

British Columbia ranked second as a province or territory that received population from other Canadian jurisdictions in the second quarter of 2017, after Ontario. In B.C., an inflow of 22,076 persons was offset by an outflow of 17,042 for a net population gain of 5,034. British Columbia’s net exchange with Alberta was positive, with an estimated 3,514 more persons leaving Alberta for B.C. than those going to Alberta. In addition, B.C. reported positive net in-migration from Saskatchewan (+849), Manitoba (+747), Newfoundland and Labrador (+130) and Yukon Territory (+124) as well as small gains from Northwest Territories and Quebec. British Columbia’s exchange with the remaining jurisdictions was negative in the second quarter. Ontario was the highest net recipient of interprovincial migration in the second quarter of 2017 with a net gain of 7,266.

B.C. Net Interprovincial Migration by Quarter, Q1 1998 to Q2 2017

Source: Statistics Canada. Table 051-0017  Interprovincial Migrants, Canada, provinces and territories, CANSIM.  Last updated September 27, 2017.