Retirements and a relatively strong economy have increased B.C.'s net migration from other provinces in recent years

Immigration decline slows B.C. population growth

B.C.'s population reached 4.7 million in October, but the rate of international immigration has dipped below one per cent

B.C.’s population reached 4.7 million by Oct. 1, a gain of less than one per cent from the same time last year.

The province’s population growth rate was down to 0.8 per cent by the third quarter of 2015, Central 1 Credit Union reports in its latest B.C. Economic Briefing. Net international migration was the main reason for the slowdown, with 11,100 international arrivals during what is usually the highest period of the year for immigration gains.

Within Canada, interprovincial migration climbed to nearly 5,000 in the third quarter of 2015, as people returned home to a relatively buoyant B.C. economy from provinces hit by slumping oil prices, notably Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland.

While permanent international resident arrivals were slower, international tourism demand climbed to more than 400,000 people by October, due mainly to U.S. visitors taking advantage of a lower Canadian dollar.