Saskatchewan’s population hit an all-time high of 1,067,612 last year, according to population estimates released Wednesday by Statistics Canada.
That number represents a 17,064-person jump over 2010 figures — the highest single-year increase since 1953 when the population rose by 18,000 people. The province’s 1.62 per cent growth rate was the second highest in Canada behind Alberta.
Net interprovincial migration was recorded at 1,181 people. Saskatchewan and Alberta were the only two provinces to experience more people moving in from other parts of Canada than those who left.
Premier Brad Wall attributed the rise to Saskatchewan’s growing economy.
“This speaks to the strength of our economy and illustrates a clear shift in the economic fortunes of our country to Western Canada and to Saskatchewan,” Wall said. “Saskatchewan is now a ‘have’ province with a vibrant economy and a growing population. That’s a big change from just a few short years ago.”
Employment in Saskatchewan was up by 13,800 jobs last month, with Regina posting the lowest unemployment rate in Canada and Saskatchewan having the lowest provincial unemployment rate.
“The job numbers are exceptionally good,” said John Hopkins, the CEO of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce.
Major construction projects and investments in the economy are keeping the local and provincial economies strong, Hopkins said. He also added that a shortage of skilled workers continues to be a problem in Saskatchewan.