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This article was updated more than 6 months ago. Some information may be outdated.

Canada's population is growing at record-setting pace, and is on track to reach 40 million people.

Statistics Canada’s Population Clock models population growth in real time based on factors like births, deaths, and migration data. It says Canada’s population will reach 40 million just before 3 p.m. on June 16, 2023.

“This is an exciting milestone for Canada,” Chief Statistician Anil Arora says in a written statement. “It is a strong signal that Canada remains a dynamic and welcoming country, full of potential. As we head into Canada Day, this is certainly cause for celebration!”

Canada continues to lead the G7 when it comes to population growth, thanks in part to immigration. The population growth rate currently stands at 2.7 percent, which is the highest level since 1957, when immigration and the baby boom helped Canada’s population grow by 3.3 percent. In the 12 months between January 2021 and 2022, Canada added more than one million people for the first time in its history.

The current trend is driven largely by permanent and temporary migration, which accounted for nearly all growth recorded in 2022 (a whopping 96 percent!). If it continues, current projections show that Canada’s population could reach 50 million by 2043.

How Canada measures population

The Population Clock uses a real-time model based on Statistics Canada’s quarterly demographic estimates. The numbers are updated according to the most recent birth, death, and migration data.

The clock also shows how much time it takes for a birth, death or migration component to occur in Canada.  It does not reflect when the events themselves actually occur, but it shows the average pace of Canada’s population growth in real time.

Canada conducts a census of population every five years. The most recent census took place in 2021, when it came to light that nearly a quarter of Canada’s population is made up of immigrants—that’s more than 8.3 million people. By 2041, Canada could have an immigrant population of anywhere from 29 percent to 34 percent of the population.

Later this month, on June 28, Statistics Canada will release its quarterly population estimates for Q1, 2023. These counts are expected to come in at less than the 40 million mark, as the estimates in this report are only as current as April 1, 2023.

For the first time in Canadian history, Canada’s population rose by more than one million in a single year.

For the past two decades, Canada has been leading the G7 countries for population growth thanks to immigration. If Canada’s rate of population growth was to stay constant in the years to come, the Canadian population could double in about 26 years.

Canada’s Indigenous population also continues to grow much faster than the national average. It increased by 9.4 percent from 2016 to 2021, surpassing the growth of the non-Indigenous population over the same period.

The 2021 Census counted 1.8 million Indigenous people, accounting for 5% of Canada’s total population, up from 4.9% in 2016.

A brief history of immigration to Canada

Canada has had several significant waves of immigration. One of the biggest was at the beginning of the 20th century, when many immigrants settled the Prairies. In 1913, Canada welcomed more than 400 000 immigrants. A record that wasn’t surpassed until 2021, and again in 2022. If all goes according to plan, Canada could once again reach a new record in 2023.

After the Second World War (1946-1965), Canada saw very high rates of population growth, mostly because of the baby boom. The average number of children per woman at that time peaked at 3.94 in 1959, compared to 1.4 in 2020.

The fertility rate began to decline after the 1960s. Then by 1995, immigration became the main source of population growth.

As a result of the baby boom and declining birth rate, in 2015 there were more Canadians aged 65 and older than age 14 and under for the first time in Canada’s history.

In an effort to address the demographic challenges associated with an aging population, Canada’s immigration targets have been increasing since 2016. Namely, with more baby boomers retiring and fewer births in the country, Canada needs to replenish the workforce by welcoming large numbers of immigrants in order to maintain a competitive economy.

During the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, population growth slowed due to border restrictions. However, recent figures show that Canada has bounced back from this slow down.

About the author

Shelby Thevenot

Shelby Thevenot

Canadian Immigration Writer
Shelby is a journalist, freelance writer, and expert news analyst with more than five years of experience in writing about Canadian immigration.
Read more about Shelby Thevenot
Citation "Canada’s population grows to 40 million." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation


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