Sources of Population Growth - June 2019
The mathematics of population growth are relatively simple:
Population growth = (natural increase = births - deaths) + (migratory increase = immigration - emigration)
However, changes in the drivers of population growth changes are much more complicated. For example, at the national level, the contribution of natural increase to population growth has dropped as the Canadian population has aged and fertility rates have declined.
Currently, natural increase accounts for less than one-third of Canada's population growth and has ceased to be the major contributor to population growth.
At the same time, migratory increase plays an increasing role in Canada's population growth. Migratory increase currently accounts for about two-thirds of Canada's population growth.
Canadian citizen or immigrant who has left Canada to establish a residence in another country, involving a change in usual place of residence. Emigration may be either temporary or permanent.
An immigrant refers to a person who is or has ever been a landed immigrant (permanent resident) and who has been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities.
Interprovincial migration represents all movements from one province or territory to another involving a change in usual place of residence. A person who takes up residence in another province or territory is an out-migrant with reference to the province or territory of origin and an in-migrant with reference to the province or territory of destination.
Intra-provincial migration or sub-provincial migration
Intra-provincial migration or sub-provincial migration represents all movements from one region to another within the same province or territory involving a change in usual place of residence. A person who takes up residence in another region is an out-migrant with reference to the region of origin and an in-migrant with reference to the region of destination.
Variation of the population size over a given period as a result of the difference between the numbers of births and deaths.
Net interprovincial migration
Net interprovincial migration represents the difference between in-migrants and out-migrants for a given province or territory.
Net intra-provincial migration
Net intra-provincial migration represents the difference between in-migrants and out-migrants in a given intra-provincial region. A region can be defined as a census division (CD), an economic region (ER) or a census metropolitan area (CMA).
Temporary emigration includes Canadian citizens and immigrants living temporarily abroad who have not maintained a usual place of residence in Canada.
A non-permanent resident is a person who is lawfully in Canada on a temporary basis under the authority of a valid document (work permit, study permit, Minister's permit or refugee) issued for that person along with members of his family living with them. This group also includes individuals who seek refugee status upon or after their arrival in Canada and remain in the country pending the outcome of processes relative to their claim.
Source: Statistics Canada 91-528-X
The Saskatchewan Experience
In the case of Saskatchewan immigration has outstripped natural increase as the leading contributor of population growth since, and including, 2009. Since 2016, immigration is more than double natural increase and immigration is only marginally offset by emigration.
Removing the less important contributors to population growth and showing the results graphically below shows a more telling story.
While immigration is increasing rapidly, the less important components are essentially flat or, in the case of natural increase, advancing only slowly. Since 2002, net interprovincial migration was negative with the exception of 2007 to 2013. Driving positive net interprovincial migration were peak or near peak resource prices, notably oil and potash, combined with a lack of economic opportunities in other parts of Canada.
Since 2008, net immigration (immigration less emigration) accounted for between 24.4% and 129.4% of total population growth. In 2018, net immigration accounted for 122.5% of total population growth as compared to 24.4% in 2008. In both 2015 and 2018 net immigration accounted for more than the total population change suggesting that the province’s population would have declined in its absence.
The business implications of international immigration driven population growth are clear. International in-migrants tend to be younger than the general population and have larger families. In addition, they tend to cluster in large cities. However, second and third generation migrants also seem to be shifting towards suburbs and semi-rural locations. From a more encompassing, economic point of view, migrants contribute to the prosperity of their host countries, helping fill employment gaps when necessary and rejuvenating ageing populations and workforces. This, along with ethnic minority consumers’ rising incomes, is positively impacting shopping behaviour within host countries. A successful business strategy should accommodate increased population diversity by providing products and services in appropriate, easily understood languages.
Finally, barring another resource boom coupled with slumping economic fortunes in other parts of the country, home builders must adapt to building fewer and larger homes to accommodate an expanding immigrant population with larger household sizes.
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Strategic Research Consultant
TrendLine Saskatchewan is published monthly by Praxis Consulting.
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