Immigration drives P.E.I. population past 150,000

Population estimates released Wednesday by Statistics Canada show that P.E.I. has hit its target of 150,000.

P.E.I. is the fastest growing province over the last 12 months

Immigration started increasing again early in 2016. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC)

Population estimates released Wednesday by Statistics Canada show that P.E.I. has hit its target of 150,000.

In fact, the government agency has adjusted previous estimates, and now shows the province hit that target at the end of 2016. The estimates show a population of 152,021 for the province on July 1 of this year.

With 1.7 per cent growth from July 2016 to July 2017, P.E.I. was the fastest growing province in the country. Nationally, growth was 1.2 per cent.

A big boost to immigration, starting at the beginning of 2016, is driving the growth. With 2,264 arriving, close to 90 per cent of the growth from July 2016 to July 2017 can be accounted for by immigration.

Census could bring down estimates

The current population estimates are still based on the 2011 census. Estimates will not be reconciled with the 2016 census until September 2018.

The 2016 census for P.E.I. had an unusually large undercount, about four per cent. Typically undercount is about two per cent.

That undercount could pull the population estimate down, but with current growth the province would likely still mark its 150,000th resident this year.

About the Author

Kevin Yarr

Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. You can reach him at kevin.yarr@cbc.ca.