outline of people

Record high population growth — which supports economic output, but also poses challenges to housing and infrastructure capacity — isn’t showing any signs of slowing, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.

Canada’s population topped 40 million as of July 1, with a 1.16 million increase recorded over the previous 12 months, the national statistical agency reported.

The 2.9% growth rate leads the G7, “and was likely among the top 20 fastest growing countries in the world,” StatsCan said.

“If the rate of population growth seen this past year remained constant in the future, it would lead to the Canadian population doubling in 25 years,” it said.

Immigration accounted for almost all (98%) of the increase, StatsCan reported — noting that fertility dropped to a record low level in 2022.

Additionally, the number of non-permanent residents hit a record high.

StatsCan estimated that Canada had 2.2 million non-permanent residents, as of mid-2023, up 46% from July 1, 2022 — the fastest growth on record for that segment of the population.

“The reported annual increase in the number of non-permanent residents in the country continued to outpace the number of new immigrants,” StatsCan said.

Of the non-permanent residents, over 1.4 million hold a work permit, a 64% increase from the previous year, it also reported.

Alberta enjoyed the fastest population growth, up 4% over the last year, StatsCan said – with seven other provinces also reporting record growth.

Despite the strong overall population growth, the ranks of older Canadians “is also growing fast, with the largest cohorts of baby boomers currently reaching age 65,” StatsCan said.