Migration Drives Canada’s Biggest Population Gain Since 1957

(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s population grew by more than half a million over the past year, the biggest increase in six decades.

Statistics Canada released preliminary estimates Thursday that showed the country’s population hitting 37.1 million on July 1, up 518,588 from a year earlier. That’s the biggest gain since 1957. In growth terms, the 1.4 percent increase is the fastest pace in almost 30 years and the highest among Group of Seven nations.

The acceleration -- which is being driven by international migration -- is a boon to the Canadian economy, helping to offset the impact of an aging workforce at a time when companies have been complaining about labor shortages.

International migration recorded the biggest increase ever measured in Canada’s history and accounted for about 80 percent of population growth, the Ottawa-based agency said. New immigrants totaled 303,257 over the past year and net non-permanent residents were up by 165,729.

While the non-permanent resident number -- the highest in records going back to 1971 -- was fueled in part by a “strong increase” in asylum seekers, the gain was still largely due to a rise in work and study permit holders, the agency said.

Migration Drives Canada’s Biggest Population Gain Since 1957

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