Statistics Canada reports record population growth in Q3, population grows by 430,000

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Published December 19, 2023 at 12:55 pm

OTTAWA — Canada’s population grew by more than 430,000 during the third quarter, marking the fastest pace of population growth in any quarter since 1957.

Statistics Canada released its Oct. 1 population estimates on Tuesday, putting the number at more than 40.5 million.

The agency says the population growth over the first nine months of 2023 has already surpassed the total growth in any other full year, including the record set in 2022.

That has been fuelled by international migration, including about 313,000 non-permanent residents who came to the country over the three months.

StatCan says those non-permanent residents were mostly work and study permit-holders, and to a lesser extent, refugee claimants.

Experts have been warning that the strong pace of population growth in Canada is eroding housing affordability, given the country has struggled to ramp up home construction.

Earlier this month, Bank of Canada deputy governor Toni Gravelle gave a speech on the effect of immigration on the economy and inflation in particular.

Gravelle acknowledged there are many benefits from this rise in immigration, noting it has helped grow the economy, expand the workforce and counteract an aging population.

But he warned it’s also adding pressure to a housing market riddled with challenges, including zoning restrictions and a shortage of construction workers.

“This jump in demographic demand coupled with the existing structural supply issues could explain why rent inflation continues to climb in Canada. It also helps explain, in part, why housing prices have not fallen as much as we had expected,” Gravelle told the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Polling suggests Canadians are quite concerned about the impact immigration is having on infrastructure and services in the country.

In a Leger poll last month, about three-quarters of respondents agreed the increase in immigrants is adding strain to both the housing market and health-care system.

And compared to March 2022, the percentage of Canadians who said they want the country to welcome more immigrants than it has in the past had fallen to nine per cent from 17 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2023.

Nojoud Al Mallees, The Canadian Press

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