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Canada surpassed 41 million people in the first quarter of 2024 as the country continues to experience rapid growth driven almost exclusively by international migration. 

According to Statistics Canada, the population stood at 41,012,563 as of April 1, 2024, increasing by 242,673 people, or 0.6%, from the previous quarter. 

The new milestone of 41 million people comes less than a year after Statistics Canada announced that Canada’s population had reached 40 million people.

The quarterly population growth follows Canada’s annual population increasing at rates not seen in 66 years.

99.3% of Canada’s population growth in the first quarter of 2024 is thanks to international migration. 121,758 permanent residents immigrated to Canada, eclipsed by the 131,810 non-permanent residents added to the population in the first quarter of the year.

Interprovincial migration slowed by 8.7%, but Alberta continued to lead the way.

While almost 90,000 Canadians migrated provincially, most provinces and territories saw net losses in their exchanges with other provinces or territories.

Alberta gained 12,500 more interprovincial migrants than it lost, followed by New Brunswick, which saw a net gain of 1,627, and Yukon, which gained 60 more people than it lost. 

“This was the 11th straight quarter of net gains for Alberta, following losses in 19 out of 24 quarters from the third quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2021,” reads the report.

Alberta saw the biggest gains in interprovincial migration from Ontario and British Columbia, seeing 9,398 and 9,218 migrate to Alberta, respectively. On the flip side, most people who left Alberta also went to British Columbia and Ontario, with 5,744 and 3,893 leaving, respectively. 

“For the 10th quarter in a row, Ontario (-9,020) had the largest net loss of people to other provinces and territories in the first quarter of 2024. Ontario has posted net losses in interprovincial migration for the past 17 quarters (since the first quarter of 2020),” reads the report. 

The increase in temporary migrants is 21.5% higher in the first quarter of 2024 than in 2023. 

While Canada added 131,810 non-permanent residents in the first quarter of 2024, it added only 108,435 in the first quarter of 2023. 

However, the increase in non-permanent residents is much lower than the record highs set in the second and third quarters of 2023, when Canada saw 233,361 and 312,758 temporary residents enter the country, respectively.

Currently, just under 2.8 million non-permanent residents live in Canada. More than 85% of the temporary residents are work or study permit holders; the rest are asylum claimants, protected persons and related groups.

Following his admission that the level of temporary foreign workers and international students resulted in a system that was “out of control,” Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced that Canada would bring temporary residents from 6.2% to 5% of the total population.

6.8% of Canada’s total population is now non-permanent residents. During the first quarter of 2022, non-permanent residents comprised 3.5% of Canada’s total population. During the first quarter of 2023, temporary residents made up 4.7% of Canada’s population.

All provinces saw increases in temporary residents except Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. 

Non-permanent residents with work permits increased, while temporary residents with study permits decreased.

“A lower number of people who hold only study permits is not uncommon in a first quarter, but the magnitude of the decrease in the first quarter of 2024 was greater than that in the same quarter of 2023 (-16,003),” reads the report.

The Liberals imposed a 2-year cap on international students, reducing the number by 35%. Work hours were also restricted, while higher permit fees for international students were implemented at the beginning of 2024 in response to massive fraud in Canada’s international student program. 

A Leger poll conducted near the end of 2023 showed that 75% of Canadians believe that immigrants are contributing to the housing crisis, while 73% believe that immigrants are putting pressure on the healthcare system and 63% believe that immigrants are putting pressure on the school system.