Prince Edward Island still Canada's fastest-growing province

P.E.I. held onto its title as Canada’s most rapidly growing province in 2019-20, based on the percentage of new residents compared to existing ones. But it was also the province that saw the biggest drop in its growth rate as COVID-19 border restrictions took hold.

Interprovincial migration has fallen, according to Statistics Canada data

The growth rate in new arrivals to Prince Edward Island slowed this year, but the population still grew to reach 159,625 as of July 1. (CBC)

P.E.I. was Canada's fastest-growing province in 2019-20, but it was also the province that saw the biggest drop in its growth rate.

Statistics Canada released new population figures for the country on Tuesday, giving data for the numbers as of July 1, 2020.

Over the year previous to July 1, the population of P.E.I. grew 1.5 per cent to reach 159,625.

P.E.I.'s growth rate the previous year had been 2.5 per cent.

Growth rates were down across the country from 2019-2020, with the exception of Newfoundland and Labrador, which shrunk a little less than it had done in 2018-19.

Both immigration and interprovincial migration were factors in P.E.I.'s slower population growth this past year.

Immigration fell by 8.2 per cent in 2019-20. Between July 2019 and June 2020, 2,082 immigrants arrived in the province, compared to 2,267 the previous year.

P.E.I. had been on pace to increase immigration before the pandemic hit, but in the second quarter of this year, April to June, the Island saw 315 fewer immigrants than the year before.

Net interprovincial migration was down even more, but it was not all about the pandemic.

P.E.I. had a net loss in interprovincial migration for the first time since 2014-15, with 462 fewer people falling into that category.

The worst quarter for interprovincial migration was Q3 of 2019, with a net loss of 544 people. In the second quarter of this year, the province broke even, with 1,274 leaving the province and the exact same number arriving, according to Statistics Canada data.

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Kevin Yarr is the early morning web journalist at CBC P.E.I. Kevin has a specialty in data journalism, and how statistics relate to the changing lives of Islanders. He has a BSc and a BA from Dalhousie University, and studied journalism at Holland College in Charlottetown. You can reach him at