Manitoba's population continues to swell, posting the best growth rate in 40 years.

Statistics Canada figures show, as of Jan. 1, 2011, the population was 1,243,700, which represents a growth of 100,035 people since the fall of 1999.

Previously, it took Manitoba nearly 18 years to add more than 100,000 residents, stated a press release from Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson.

There was a net increase of 16,900 people over just the past 12 months, the province's best population growth in nearly 40 years.

A net increase is the difference between the number of people who left and those that arrived.

Of those who came to Manitoba, a total of 15,805 were international immigrants, a number well ahead of the 13,520 immigrants that arrived in 2009 and the largest immigrant arrival since 1946.

There was a late-year surge of 3,600 people who came between October and December, giving Manitoba the quickest growth rate in Canada during the fourth quarter of 2010.

But 2010 was also a banner year for births with 16,143 newborns arriving. Not since 1994 have there been so many in a 12-month period, said Bjornson.