The most recent population figures show Prince Edward Island had the largest population increase in Atlantic Canada – exceeding the national increase – and is on track to meet government’s target of 150,000 by the end of next year.
There were an estimated 148,649 Islanders as of July 1, 2016, according to preliminary numbers released by Statistics Canada. The increase of 1.3 per cent was the highest in the Atlantic region and higher than Canada’s overall population growth of 1.2 per cent.
“We have an aggressive strategy in place to retain, recruit and repatriate with the goal of growing our population to 150,000 by the end of 2017,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan. “We will continue to pursue opportunities to attract Islanders back home, Canadians from other provinces, and newcomers to Canada to help build sustained prosperity for Prince Edward Island.”
Immigration to Prince Edward Island led the country, tied with Alberta. A total of 2,008 international immigrants came to the province between July 2015 and July 2016. When including international students and others returning from abroad, the total increase is 2,657, approaching the record increase seen in 2010-2011 of 2,689.
While Statistics Canada shows that there were more deaths than births in the province between July of 2015 and July of this year, the trend for 2016 suggests that births will surpass deaths for the overall year.
“It is particularly encouraging to see the population of 20-29-year-olds increase as we work to grow our economy, build strong communities and tell newcomers what Islanders already know – that there is no place one would rather live than Prince Edward Island,” said the Premier.