The agency earlier predicted the country would hit the mark just before 3 p.m. ET on Friday, and it did so with just minutes to spare at 2:55 p.m. ET.
“This is an exciting milestone for Canada,” said chief statistician Anil Arora in a statement Thursday prior to reaching the 40-million mark.
“It is a strong signal that Canada remains a dynamic and welcoming country.”
Statistics Canada reports that the country’s population has been growing at a “record-setting pace,” with 1,050,110 additional people arriving in 2022 – the first time in history the agency says the population grew by more than one million people in a single year. It’s also the highest annual population growth rate on record since 1957, when the baby boom after the Second World War contributed to very high rates.
This trend of growth comes “in large part” from permanent and temporary migration, the agency says, and if current trends continue the population could reach 50 million in just 20 years.
Usha George, a professor at the Toronto Metropolitan Centre for Immigration and Settlement at Toronto Metropolitan University, said one of the benefits of this growth is on Canada’s economy.
“It is not the bodies we are bringing in, these are bodies that fill in the empty spaces in the labour market,” she said. “They bring a very-high level of skills.”
The number of Indigenous people in the country is growing as well, increasing by 9.4 per cent from 2016 to 2021 compared to 5.3 per cent for the non-Indigenous population over the same period, according to StatCan.