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Immigrants spur Canadian population growth

  |   Dec. 23, 2010 at 4:22 PM
OTTAWA, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Canada's immigration rate was its highest in four decades, pushing the country's population up to nearly 34.3 million, Canada's statistics agency said.

Sixty-five percent of Canada's 129,300-person population increase from July 1 to Oct. 1 was due to 84,200 new immigrants, Statistics Canada said.

The influx reached most provinces and territories, some of which had their highest quarterly immigration levels in nearly 40 years, the agency said.

Prince Edward Island, the maritime province that's Canada's smallest in both land area and population, recorded the highest growth rate, with a 0.7 percent population increase, the agency said.

The increase was largely due to 1,200 immigrants, the highest number since 1971, the agency said.

Quebec and Manitoba also broke 1971 records.

Ontario didn't break any records, but immigrants made up 70 percent of its third-quarter population increase, Statistics Canada said.

Alberta, in the western part of Canada, was the only province to report growth driven by a "natural increase," responsible for 60 percent of the growth, the agency said.

Newfoundland and Labrador, on the country's Atlantic coast, was the only province to lose people, down about 500.

The agency expects Canada to add 240,000 to 265,000 more people by the end of the year.

The immigration increase followed Canada's June announcement it would welcome immigrants to "keep the workforce strong" as the economy grows following the Great Recession, Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada spokeswoman Kelli Fraser told Postmedia News.

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