Has the population bleeding stopped?

Statistics Canada has just released its population estimates. New Brunswick dropped 2,094 from its population from 2005-2006 but added back 557 from 2006 to 2007.

Everything is relative. Canada grew by an estimated 326,544 people from 2006 to 2007. If we had just had ‘our share’ of Canada’s population growth, we would have added 7,421 people – just to have the Canadian average level of population growth.

But at least it is a ‘growth’ figure.

However, I would point out the difference between the population ‘estimates’ and the ‘Census’. The Census shows that New Brunswick’s population is now hovering around 725,000 people (a drop since 1996). I don’t know when Statistics Canada is going to get around to rectifying the difference between the estimate and the actual. One assumes the Census figure is considered ‘actual’ while the ‘estimate’ is considered, well, the estimate.

With all the bravado around about ‘worst to first’ and ‘leading Canada’ and ‘a model for the rest of Canada’, one wonders if any politician would ever promise just the national average for population growth……

…My guess is absolutely not since it has never happened since Confederation.

Other interesting highlights:

Outmigration from New Brunswick is at recent highs. Almost 16,000 people moved out last year. But at the same time almost 15,000 moved in. That makes 15 straight years of net out-migration but it also means that the province is attracting more people. We just need to limit the out-migration.

Immigrants are up – 1,600 in the last year compared to an average of 800/year during Lord’s tenure. However, you have to remember that upwards of 50% of immigrants to New Brunswick leave, so the retention of 800 immigrants across all of New Brunswick still could be classified as, well, pathetic.

Births are down. 6,728 in the last year compared to 7,100 in 2003. That’s a bit disturbing considering that across Canada births are up 7% since 2003. Every province in Canada except all four Atlantic provinces has witnessed an increase in births since 2003. I, however, don’t think a baby bonus is what’s needed. We need jobs that a) keep young people and young families here and b) better paying jobs that all one spouse to have the option to take the time off needed to start a new family.

Oops. I just veered into social policy. I probably should stick to my knitting, eh?

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0 Responses to Has the population bleeding stopped?

  1. NB taxpayer says:

    BOOOOO!! I protest this post on the grounds that you are gerrymandering the numbers again. 😉

    Are you contracted out by the popoulation secretariat?? lol

    All joking aside, you’re right, it is a slight increase, however, I don’t think these kinds of gains are going to be sufficient enough to meet Graham’s population growth targets by 2010.

    So I guess those numbers in the above post should be deemed a failure in the eyes of the policy makers in Freddy.

    Btw, check this out. I don’t agree w/t any of it, but it’s worth the read, especially since I think there are a lot of anti-market protestors here in NB who may see this post to have legs. Sad indeed.

  2. David Campbell says:

    Thanks for the referral, NBT. That’s a wacky piece of pork rind. I think, but I can’t be sure (you have to peel back the layers of useless boiler plate such as “captains of centralized commerce”), that this person is arguing that New Brunswick should embrace becoming smaller and focus on having beautiful, healthy but small communities.

    I don’t believe in growth for growth’s sake. But in the specific case of New Brunswick, we have overbuilt our social system and now we need to catch up with the economic capacity to fund it. That necessitates good paying tax generating jobs.

  3. mikel says:

    That was quite interesting, although the response of you two was equally interesting.

    First, for NBT, especially the link to ‘anti market protestors’. When have you EVER seen anti market protestors say anything about population growth?

    It’s exactly the OPPOSITE. Look at Crowley’s comments about getting worker permits for truckers. He doesn’t even want new industries to HIRE maritimers. It is the market forces, as anybody who has looked at an economics textbook knows, that have ‘labour mobility’ as a prerequisite.

    It is SUPPOSED to happen. Notice that Graham may want population in NB, but notice not word one has been mentioned about the places where it has mostly plummeted-the north and rural areas. The north is SUPPOSED to be empty, just like NB is-that way its easier to get the resources.

    And thats because the market WANTS population decline-unless they happen to want more workers.

    Of course ‘good paying tax generating’ jobs are worthwhile in itself. However, that link is far from a ‘wacky piece of pork rind’. In fact, its US who are touting the wacky stuff to the majority of the population. My parents are in NB and only one of five children live there, and they aren’t even marginally interested in this stuff. Coming to ontario two or three times a year is just ‘life’.The thinking is, someday there may be jobs again, and people will come back.

    The conversation about population size is being asked all over the place, as usual canada is far behind,not being used to famines or such things. In ontario the idea is to build as quickly as possible before the seventies return and it goes bust again-this time hoping the feds can bail them (us) out.

    But that’s FAR from ‘wacky’ or ‘anti market’ stuff. Why do you think you’ve NEVER heard about the declining population as a serious social issue in the media until the possibility came along that it may affect labour availability?

    As far as wacky goes, to thine own self be true:)

  4. Danny D'Amours says:

    Perhaps I’m just hopeful and not as jaded as others but I see this news as awesome news. Since October of 2006, the population has been growing which is an improvement over what we had been seeing before that.

    I agree with David that being under the national average is an issue but the numbers are trending in the right direction. I certainly wouldn’t expect a jump from a shrinking population to an Alberta growth situation overnight.

    Looking at the numbers, we went from losing over 1000 people per quarter to interprovincial migration to a gain of 500 people in the last quarter. Pretty impressive if you ask me. In addition, in this latest quarter, all components of growth (natural, interprovincial migration and international migration) were positive which is highly encouraging. Heck we even attracted over 200 people more to little old NB than we had New Brunswickers moving to Ontario with its large cities of Toronto and Ottawa.

    Now I just hope that the growth in migration is made up of people of working age as opposed to retirees.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Knitting, Bingo and dubious music all in the same week?