13 March 2007

NL population headed below 500K early

While provincial government demographic projections have long shown the province's population dropping below 500,000 people within the first two decades of the 21st century, the latest census data from Statistics Canada shows the population is already well on its way to that point.
The official 2006 census shows the population of Newfoundland and Labrador at 505,469 people, down from 512,930 in 2001.

That's below the Stats Can estimates of the population last year that showed it at over 509,000. Statistics Canada considers these so-called postcensual figures to be a more accurate reflection of the current population and explains the methodology in a separate note.

Community-by-community numbers are contained on separate data sheets.

The census figures show a net population change. It does not indicate outmigration exclusively. Some of the population change in Newfoundland and Labrador would include internal migration from towns to towns or towns to cities.

Newfoundland and Labrador's population declined by 1.5% between 2001 and 2006, one of only two provinces experiencing a decline during the most recent five year census period. Only Saskatchewan also experienced decline between 2001 and 2006.

Between 1996 and 2001, the province's population declined by 7% in the aftermath of the cod moratorium. The population of Newfoundland and Labrador hasn't been below 500,000 people since the late 1960s.