Saskatchewan’s population continues to grow, reaching 1,162,062 people as of July 1, according to the latest numbers released Thursday by Statistics Canada.
The province grew by 3,226 in the second quarter, April 1 – June 30, and by 11,280 since July 1, 2017.
While the total population rises due to immigration and more births than deaths, Saskatchewan is still losing more people from migration to other provinces than it gains from people moving here.
There were 8,539 people who moved out of Saskatchewan to another province in the second quarter, compared to 5,721 people who moved from another province to Saskatchewan. That’s a net loss of 2,818 people and the biggest net loss during any quarter since the spring of 2005. Saskatchewan has recorded a net loss of interprovincial migration every quarter since the summer of 2013.
Alberta remains the most popular destination, followed by Ontario and B.C. There were 3,799 people who moved from Saskatchewan to Alberta in the second quarter compared to 2,498 Albertans who moved to Saskatchewan.
Immigration Minister Jeremy Harrison was unavailable for an interview on Thursday but provided a statement in an email.
To keep skilled workers in the labour force, Harrison said the government is committed to increasing employer-sponsored training which creates work placement opportunities for youth and adults.
“While we would certainly like to have people stay in Saskatchewan, and see more people moving to Saskatchewan from other provinces, it’s important to note that our strong immigration continues to have an overall net increase in the population here in Saskatchewan.”
According to Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan saw a quarterly growth rate of 0.28 per cent. That’s lower than the growth rate of the same quarter in 2017 (0.36%) and 2016 (0.43%). Saskatchewan saw an annual growth rate of 0.98 per cent.
“Our population growth rate percentage has been positive for the last 49 consecutive quarters, the longest sustained period since 1971. The growth rate has varied, but the fact that the increases have been steady for over a decade gives us reason to be optimistic,” Harrison said.