New Brunswick population shrinking, Statistics Canada reports

New Brunswick's population shrank for the second year in a row in 2013, according to a new report by Statistics Canada.

Overall population dropped by 764 in 2013, figures show

A strong wave of immigrants coming to New Brunswick last year was not enough to reverse the province's dwindling population numbers, as current residents continue to move west by the thousands, new figures show.

Statistics Canada says New Brunswick's population dropped by 764 during 2013, the second year in a row of decline, despite more than 2,000 international immigrants arriving during the year.

Immigrants have become the most significant source of new citizens in New Brunswick, but their numbers are being overwhelmed by existing residents who have been leaving for other provinces, principally Alberta.

Tracking addresses used by people collecting Child Tax Benefit payments and utilizing other tax records, Statistics Canada found that New Brunswick lost a net total of 3,031 residents to other provinces in 2013, 85 per cent of that number to Alberta.

New Brunswick has lost more than 7,000 residents to other provinces during the last three years, an exodus that has brought population growth to a halt despite strong gains nationally.

Overall, Canada's population grew by 404,000 last year.

As of Jan. 1, 2014,  the New Brunswick population was estimated at 755,464, down from 756,228 at the same time the previous year.