Issue 19-205 Quarterly Population Highlights

December 30, 2019

B.C. Highlights

The population of B.C. was estimated at 5,105,576 as of October 1, 2019, growing by 34,240 persons in the third quarter of 2019 (up 0.68% from July 1, 2019).

Combined net in-migration from all sources (inter-provincial and international) totalled 31,668 persons during the third quarter of 2019, up over 30% from the same quarter in 2018. Most of the population growth in the third quarter was due to international immigration. Broken down, net international in-migration contributed 29,698 persons to population growth, with  net interprovincial migration accounting for and additional 1,970. Rounding out the third quarter growth was a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 2,572 persons.

Q3 2019 population changes for B.C.

The Last Twelve Months

B.C.’s total population grew by 78,425 persons (+1.6%) over the twelve months ending September 30, 2019, mostly due to international migration. On an annual basis, net international migration accounted for a gain of 65,027 while net interprovincial migration contributed 8,173 persons from October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. Natural increase added another 5,225 people during the last twelve months.

National Overview

The population of Canada grew by an estimated 208,234 persons (+0.55%) to 37,797,496 during the third quarter of 2019, a slightly higher growth than in the same quarter of 2018. British Columbia (+0.68%) led the growth at the provincial and territorial level, followed by Ontario (+0.64%), Prince Edward’s Island (+0.61%), Alberta (+0.56%) and Nova Scotia (+0.55%). Quebec (+0.45%), Yukon (+0.41%), New Brunswick (+0.41%), Saskatchewan (+0.36%), Manitoba (+0.32%), Nunavut (+0.24%), Northwest Territories (+0.15%) and Newfoundland (+0.07%) saw population increases lower than the national average in the third quarter of 2019.

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 29,698 in the third quarter. This compares to a net gain of 23,664 in the third quarter of 2018. The total number of immigrants arriving in British Columbia from July 1 to September 30 was 15,914. The province also saw a net NPR gain of 16,413 which compares to a net gain of 15,399 NPRs observed in the same quarter of 2018. In regard to persons exiting B.C. for international destinations, an estimated 3,799 left on a permanent basis and 1,654 were away temporarily in the third quarter of 2019.

Interprovincial Migration

British Columbia experienced a net population gain due to interprovincial migration in the third quarter of 2019. An inflow to B.C. of 14,857 was offset by an outflow of 12,887, for a net gain of 1,970. British Columbia’s net exchange with Alberta was positive, with an estimated net gain of 190 people from Alberta to B.C. The province also reported positive net migration from Saskatchewan (+708), Manitoba (+684), Ontario (+455), P.E.I. (+164), Northwest Territories (+38), Newfoundland (+19), Quebec (+13). B.C. reported net migration losses to Nova Scotia (-205), New Brunswick (-86), Yukon (-6) and Nunavut (-4).

B.C. Net Interprovincial Migration by Quarter, Q1 1998 to Q3 2019

B.C. Q3 Population

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