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Canadian population sees biggest spike since 1988 – thanks to immigrants: StatsCan

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets a family of refugees from Syria as they arrive at Pearson International airport, in Toronto, on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets a family of refugees from Syria as they arrive at Pearson International airport, in Toronto, on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Statistics Canada says Canada’s population rose by 139,645 in the second quarter of 2016—marking the biggest quarterly increase since 1988.

According to preliminary results, Canada’s population on July 1 was 36,286,425. That’s an increase of 1.2 per cent since July last year and the biggest yearly increase since 1988/89.

The sudden rise is largely due to immigration, Statistics Canada officials say; just over 86,000 people immigrated during the second quarter of 2016, making the total number of immigrants for the past year around 320,000.

READ MORE: StatsCan looking to go digital and ditch short-form census

They also said the “record number” was influenced by the arrival of Syrian refugees since November last year.

The last official time Canada had seen a number close to this high was in 2009/10 when Canada let in just over 270,000 people.

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Officials said there were more immigrants received in the early 1910s during the settlement of Western Canada, but since demographic accounts started in 1971, official numbers weren’t immediately available.

Among the results released Wednesday Statistics Canada also said the median age of Canadians is 40.9 years old, the number of births in the country for the past year was around 393,000 and the number of deaths for the same period was around 269,000.

The numbers are based on 2011 Census counts.

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