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This article was published 16/6/2016 (1388 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba’s population has been growing at a record-breaking pace, preliminary numbers released by Statistics Canada show.
The province gained 19,432 people in the 12-month period from April 1, 2015, to April 1, 2016 — an increase of 1.51 per cent, second only to Alberta’s 12-month gain of 1.78 per cent.
It was well above the national increase of 1.12 per cent.
Both numbers — 19,432 and 1.51 per cent — are modern-day records for Manitoba, said Wilf Falk, the province’s chief statistician.
"They’re the best since 1971," he said. "We’ve never seen this stuff before."
He said the previous record for population growth in Manitoba in a 12-month period was 16,706 people. That was set from April 2011 to April 2012.
"So we really shattered the old record," Falk said.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Falk said Manitoba also set three other modern records between April of last year and April of this year.
In addition to the record population gain, the province added 16,135 new immigrants, 5,158 new non-permanent residents — mainly international students and foreign workers — and had 13,596 more people arrive from other provinces or countries than leave for other provinces or countries.
Falk said all three numbers were modern records for the most gains in any 12-month period.
He said there’s no reason to think the recent surge in population growth will end soon.
"Assuming the international migration flows will continue... our population should be bouncing along fairly good in the future," he said.
He said due to the slump in the oil industry, Alberta isn’t luring as many people from other provinces as it has in the past.
Although it gained 30,000 people from other jurisdictions in the past year, in the first quarter of this year, it recorded a net loss of 1,788.
"And who knows what the next quarter is going to bring because of the Fort McMurray fire situation? People left, and who knows how that’s going to play out. I would say that for at least 2016, they’re going to be in a negative-migration situation."
The Statistics Canada figures included population gains recorded during the first three months of 2016.
They showed Manitoba’s population was 1,308,912 as of April 1 — a gain of 5,016 from the start of the year (when it was 1,303,896).
The gain maintains Manitoba’s status as the country’s fifth-largest province in terms of population, behind Ontario (13,920,499), Quebec (8,310,708), British Columbia (4,720,932) and Alberta (4,249,842).
Saskatchewan isn’t far behind Manitoba, with a population of 1,146,655.
Nationally, Canada had its population grow by 106,966 to 36,155,487 during the quarter.
Statistics Canada said it was the highest first-quarter gain since 1989 and attributed it mainly to an influx of new immigrants.
It said 86,216 people arrived in the country during the first three months of 2016, a large number of whom were Syrian refugees.
It noted Canada had not received that many new immigrants in a single quarter since the introduction of the current system of demographic counts in July 1971.
Falk said Syrian refugees were also a significant contributor to Manitoba’s population gain in the last year.
He said an official with the Kurdish Association of Manitoba recently told him about 1,300 Syrian refugees have arrived in the province since Nov. 1.
Updated on Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 1:25 PM CDT: writethrough