The Island experienced healthy population growth in 2017, but the growth was mainly concentrated in Queens County, according to data from P.E.I.’s annual statistical review.
The Island’s population grew by 1.7 per cent, or by 2,549 individuals, to an estimated 152,021. The population on the Island grew by a faster proportion than any other province in Canada,
Most of the population growth was based in Queens County, whose population grew by 2,528 or 3 per cent. Prince County’s population saw a modest growth of 67 people in 2017, or 0.3 per cent, while Kings County’s population shrank by 43 people or 0.2 per cent.
The growth in population from Queens County was largely driven by urban areas. According to census records, Charlottetown’s population grew by 4 per cent between 2011 and 2016, while Stratford’s population shot up by 13 per cent. Cornwall’s population grew by 3.6 per cent.
Much of the Island’s population growth came from new immigrants.
International migration to the Island grew by 12.7 per cent in 2017. In all, the Island took in 2,909 international migrants. This may partly explain the growth in urban areas on the Island; recent immigrants often settle in urban areas.
However, the Island also recorded the highest increase in out-migration since 2011. In all, 3,704 people left P.E.I. for other provinces in 2017, representing a 30 per cent increase from the previous year.
In-migration from other provinces grew by 13.7 per cent, leaving the province with a net loss of 436 residents from migration within Canada.
Although statistics for births and deaths on the Island are not yet available for 2017, the long-term statistics may not bode well for population growth. Between 2006 and 2016 the number of deaths has risen by 17.6 per cent, while the number of births remained virtually unchanged.
A press release issued by the government of Prince Edward Island highlighted positive economic trends for the Island. GDP by industry grew by 3.2 per cent, while employment increased by 3.1 per cent. The value of PEI international exports of goods rose by 5 per cent to reach $1.32 billion.
On the housing front, there were 911 housing starts in 2017, up 63.6 per cent from 2016.
By The Numbers
Population by county, as of July 1st, 2018
2016: 44, 573