Canada tops California in people but not profits

By James Langton | June 19, 2023 | Last updated on June 19, 2023
1 min read
Parliament buildings at night in Ottawa

Canada is enjoying record population growth, surpassing the 40-million mark in mid-June, but the economy hasn’t kept pace, notes National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF) in a new report.

On June 16, Canada’s population officially topped 40 million, Statistics Canada said, attributing the milestone almost entirely to strong immigration.

Last year, the country’s population grew by 1,050,110, which was the first time that the population rose by more than 1 million in a single year.

StatsCan said that 96% of the increase was driven by migration.

NBF said that Canada’s population growth, which is leading the G7, will likely top 1 million again this year.

“These figures are staggering considering that the previous record for annual population growth was 624,000 in 1949, when Newfoundland joined the federation,” NBF said.

“With Canada now adding the equivalent of two Newfoundlands a year to its population, the world’s demographic ranking is changing very rapidly,” it added.

Indeed, thanks to its recent growth, Canada’s population has now surpassed California’s for the first time since the early 1980s, it noted.

However, economic output has not kept pace. California’s GDP was 1.7 times higher than Canada’s in 2022, NBF noted.

“While the demographic gap has closed, the same cannot be said for productivity,” it said.

StatsCan noted that, based on current projections, Canada’s population could reach 50 million by 2043.

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James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.