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Canada had one of the fastest population growth rates in the industrialized world from 1994 to 2004. It was twice as fast as the average growth rate of the European G8 countries. During this period only the United States had faster population growth than Canada.
However, in recent years Canada’s population has grown only slightly faster than that of its southern neighbour. In 2004/2005, Canada’s population grew by 9.6 people for every 1,000 inhabitants, compared with 9.3 people per 1,000 inhabitants in the United States.
What distinguishes Canada’s population growth is the large contribution of immigration. From 1994 to 2004, the net international migration rate in Canada was 0.61%—the highest among the G8 countries. The United States was second with a rate of 0.52%. Japan at 0.01% and France at 0.07% had the lowest migration growth rates.
While the net migration rate continues to boost Canada’s population, growth in the United States is due primarily to natural increase. From 1994 to 2004, the natural increase rate in Canada was 0.39%, whereas in the United States it was 0.58%.
Canada ranks fourth among the G8 countries for total fertility rate (1.5 children per woman in 2004), and life expectancy here is similar to the G8 level. These factors resulted in Canada’s natural rate of increase remaining relatively high in 2004 compared with other G8 countries. Only the United States had a higher rate of natural population increase.
Compared with other G8 countries, Canada has one of the youngest populations. Only the United States, where the median age is 36.3 years, and the Russian Federation, where it is 37.9 years, have populations younger than Canada, where the median age is 38.3 years.