HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s population is the highest it has ever been, with Ottawa attributing the increase mainly to new immigrants, including Syrian refugees.
A new report from Statistics Canada released Thursday said the province’s population has increased by about 4,900 people since April 2015, bringing its total population to about 947,000.
The Quarterly Demographic Estimates report said 1,460 people arrived in the province from Jan. 1 to April 1.
Nova Scotia has struggled to grow its population in recent years due to outmigration and an aging population.
The report said the increase in Nova Scotia was mainly driven by international migration.
It said Nova Scotia’s natural population change — the number of births and the number of deaths — continues to decline, with 2,005 births and 2,543 deaths.
International migration is also responsible for a rise in population nationally.
Between Jan. 1 and April 1, Canada’s population increased by about 106,000 people, bringing the total population to about 36 million.
“Since the introduction of the current system of demographic accounts in July 1971, Canada had never received so many immigrants in a single quarter,” the report said.
“The arrival of Syrian refugees largely accounts for the increase in the number of immigrants posted in the first three months of 2016.”