A baby boom is helping sustain strong growth in Saskatchewan's population. (David Shield/CBC)

Saskatchewan's population continues to gain ground on Manitoba — but don't hold your breath waiting for the Land of the Living Skies to overtake the Keystone province.

According to Statistics Canada's quarterly population report released Wednesday, Saskatchewan's population on April 1 was 1,122,588.

Manitoba, meanwhile, had 1,275,212 people, or 152,624 more than its neighbour to the west.

Sask. growing faster

Both provinces are growing, but Saskatchewan is growing faster. It added 21,180 people from April to April, compared to 14,293 in Manitoba.

Saskatchewan Economy Minister Bill Boyd said the steady growth is a sign of a strong and diversified economy.

"Saskatchewan is now starting its eighth consecutive year of strong population growth, a far cry from the years when we were actually losing people," Boyd said in a news release. 

"Our government is working hard to ensure that growth continues." 

Manitoba will have more people for years to come, but ...

If Boyd is right and the current growth continues, at some point Saskatchewan might have bragging rights to being Canada's 5th largest province.

But it's not going to happen overnight.

In fact, if Saskatchewan's 1.89 per cent annual growth rate (and Manitoba's 1.12 per cent rate) held steady, it would take about 17½ years for Rider Nation to pass the Land of 100,000 Lakes.

Change in 2031?

Around that time, both provinces would have roughly 1.56 million people and Manitoba would slip to the No. 6 spot on the list of most populous provinces.

That would be late in 2031.