PEI: Canada's Fastest-Growing Province


PEI: Canada's Fastest-Growing Province

Population, produce and prices...

While provinces like Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have been taking the reigns for the largest population in Canada, the country has been watching one of the smallest provinces, Prince Edward Island, run faster than the rest.

According to Statistics Canada, when the last Census was taken, between 2016 and 2021, Prince Edward Island saw an 8% growth in population compared to the country's average of 5.2%.  Coming second to the territory of Yukon, but being the fastest growing province in the country.  A close second was British Columbia, with a rate of 7.6% and Ontario came in third with 5.8%.  According to the population report provided by the province, as of October 1st, 2022, the population is 172,707, which has seen a 3.7% increase from the same day the year before.

While Prince Edward Island (or PEI) remains the smallest province in the country by size and population, this rapid growth has brought attention to the island.  According to the province, there are three components to affect this growth in the third quarter of 2022: Natural reasons (births to deaths), immigration, and inter-provincial migration.

As per the population report, the births-to-deaths resulted in a natural growth of -18, with 390 births and 408 deaths.  Despite the decline in population during the quarter, immigration played a significant role in helping this growth.  Over 1068 immigrants came to PEI during the third quarter of 2022, with an expectation of at least 2500 immigrants coming in per year.  While Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (or CBC) expects to exceed that number, PEI sees further growth due to immigration, which has played a big part in population growth over the last few years.  According to the provincial government, inter-provincial migration had a net of +2 over the quarter, while it had around +413 at the same time last year and a net of +3995 over the last two years, with most migrants coming from Ontario.

This increase in population could be attributed to several reasons, like the Atlantic Immigration Program, other immigration laws, economic growth, COVID-19, lower cost of living, etc.  Prince Edward Island has been increasingly growing its tourism sector while its agricultural and fisheries industries continue to strengthen.  Prince Edward has seen one of the country's highest gross domestic product or total output from the province in terms of dollar value in the last five years.  Thus, with a growing economy, immigration programs in place to invite people from all over the world and a lower cost of living, Prince Edward Island looks to increase its population further and sustain it through migration retention plans and programs.

While this will further create economic growth, the province is going through a housing shortage and needs immediate attention as the population increases.  According to the CBC reporter, like any other bigger city, the city of Charlottetown faces significant increases in home prices and low apartment vacancy rates.  Significant attention has been brought to the topic and a sense of urgency has been created, thus giving a positive outlook to the residents of the province and migrants coming in.

It is great to see this significant growth here in PEI, and we look forward to what is coming!

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