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NWT population growth the lowest in Canada

Folk on the Rocks draws a large crowd of local music enthusiasts and tourists to Yellowknife. The NWT’s population grew to 44,760 as of Oct. 1, 2023. NNSL file photo

Statistics Canada reported that the population of the Northwest Territories stood at 44,760 as of Oct. 1, 2023. That’s a modest increase of 96 persons from the previous year and represents the lowest growth rate among all provinces and territories.

The growth was primarily driven by natural increase, with 502 births and 312 deaths, resulting in a net increase of 190 persons. However, inter-provincial migration saw a net loss of 669 persons, offset by a net gain of 575 international migrants, according to Statistics Canada.

Historically, Alberta has been the largest source of net inter-provincial migrants for the NWT. However, between Oct. 1, 2022, and Oct. 1, 2023, the NWT experienced a net loss of 636 persons to Alberta, despite 482 persons moving to the NWT from Alberta. In contrast, Ontario contributed the most new migrants to the NWT, with a net gain of 103 persons.

“At the national level, Canada’s population increased by 3.2 per cent between Oct. 1, 2022 and Oct. 1, 2023, the highest population growth rate observed for a 12-month period since the availability of comparable data (1971-1972),” reads a news release from the statistics agency.

Alberta led the provinces in population increase, followed by Prince Edward Island, Ontario and British Columbia — all exceeding the national growth rate.