Issue 18-105 Quarterly Population Highlights

June 15, 2018

B.C. Highlights

The population of B.C. was estimated at 4,862,610 as of April 1, 2018, growing by 13,168 persons in the first quarter of 2018 (up 0.27% from January 1, 2018).

Combined net in-migration from all sources (inter-provincial and international) totalled 12,932 persons during the first quarter of 2018, similar to the same quarter in 2017. Most of the population growth in the first quarter was due to international immigration. Broken down, net interprovincial in-migration contributed 796 persons to population growth while net international in-migration added 12,136 persons. Rounding out the first quarter growth was a small natural increase (births minus deaths) of 236 persons.

The Last Twelve Months

B.C.’s total population grew by 66,719 persons (+1.39%) over the twelve months ending March 31, 2018, mostly due to net international migration. On an annual basis, births (+44,184) and interprovincial arrivals (+58,515) were the largest sources of population growth for the province. Net interprovincial migration accounted for a gain of 7,227 and net international migration 53,058 persons from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018.  More than nine in every ten persons added since April 1, 2017 could be attributed to total net migration (+60,285). The remainder was due to natural increase (+6,434).

B.C. population January 2018

National Overview

The population of Canada grew by an estimated 103,157 persons (+0.28%) to 37,067,011 during the first quarter of 2018, a higher growth than in the same quarter of 2017. Leading the growth at the provincial and territorial level were Nunavut (+0.66%), Ontario (+0.39%), Alberta (+0.35%), Northwest Territories (+0.31%) and Yukon (0.29%). British Columbia ranked sixth when compared to other jurisdictions. All remaining jurisdictions with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador also observed population increases in the first quarter.

First Quarter International Migration

Net international in-migration to British Columbia (immigrants plus the net change in non-permanent residents (NPRs) plus returning emigrants less emigrants and persons temporarily abroad) resulted in a gain of 12,136 in the first quarter. This compares to a net gain of 8,668 in the first quarter of 2017. The total number of immigrants arriving in British Columbia from January 1 to March 31 was 12,190. A net NPR gain of 3,577  further increased net international in-migration. In comparison, a net gain of 1,665 NPRs occurred during the same quarter of 2017. With regard to persons leaving B.C. for international destinations, an estimated 3,167 left on a permanent basis and 1,373 were away temporarily in the first quarter of 2018.

First Quarter Interprovincial Migration

British Columbia had the third largest net gain in population from other provinces and territories in the first quarter of 2018, behind Ontario and Alberta. In B.C., an inflow of 12,862 persons was offset by an outflow of 12,066 for a net gain of 796. British Columbia’s net exchange with Alberta was negligible, with an estimated 8 more persons leaving Alberta for B.C. than those departing for Alberta. B.C. reported positive net in-migration from Saskatchewan (+721), Manitoba (+611) and Newfoundland (+111), as well as small gains from Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia,  Northwest Territories and Alberta. British Columbia’s exchange with the remaining jurisdictions was negative in the first quarter. Ontario was the highest recipient of net interprovincial migration in the first quarter of 2018 with a gain of 4,024.

B.C. Net Interprovincial Migration by Quarter, Q1 1998 to Q1 2018

B.C. Net Interprovincial Migration

Visit the Demography page on the BC Stats website for more information.