Canada's population tops 36 million for 1st time

Statistics Canada says the country's population topped 36 million this year for the first time.

Statistics Canada estimates Canada's population increased by 62,800 between Oct. 1, 2015 and Jan. 1, 2016, although population growth slowed slightly last year. (Chris Young/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Statistics Canada said Monday the country's estimated population topped 36 million this year for the first time.

The agency estimated Canada's population at 36,048,500 on Jan. 1, up 62,800 from on Oct. 1, 2015.

Population growth slowed slightly to 0.95 per cent in 2015 compared with 1.04 per cent in 2014.

The increase in the fourth quarter was due in part to 95,300 births compared with 67,900 deaths, based on preliminary estimates, the agency said. 

International migration was the main driver of the population growth, Statistics Canada says.

"During the same period, net international migration was 35,400, up 600 from the same quarter in 2014, which had recorded the lowest level for a fourth quarter since 1971."

Population growth was positive in all provinces and territories, except Yukon. It was higher than the national average in Manitoba, Nunavut, Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

With files from CBC News

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