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2006 Census: Portrait of the Canadian Population in 2006: Population of the provinces and territories

The number of people in the Atlantic provinces is unchanged

The population of the Atlantic provinces remained virtually unchanged, slipping slightly from 2,285,729 in 2001 to 2,284,779 in 2006.

As a proportion of Canada's total population, however, the population of the Atlantic provinces dropped from 7.6% to 7.2% between 2001 and 2006, as other parts of the country grew more rapidly. The Atlantic provinces accounted for 11.0% of Canada's population in 1956.

The four Atlantic provinces share many of the same demographic characteristics: for example, they all have low fertility and international immigration, and they are generally below the break-even point in their migration exchanges with the rest of Canada.

This photograph shows the steep cliffs on the shores of Newfoundland and Labrador.For Newfoundland and Labrador, the population count in the 2006 Census was 505,469, down 7,461 from 2001. The province's population has declined in the last three censuses.

However, the drop (-1.5%) in this province was smaller than in the 1996 to 2001 period, when the population decreased by 7.0%. Much of the improvement is due to smaller losses in its migration exchanges with other provinces, as fertility in Newfoundland and Labrador remained the lowest in the country, averaging 1.3 children per woman since 2001.

This photograph shows a lighthouse in Prince Edward Island.Prince Edward Island's population was 135,851 in the 2006 Census, 557 more than in the 2001 Census. The population growth of Canada's least populous province has been slow but steady over the last 10 years (+0.4% between 2001 and 2006, compared with +0.5% for the previous five-year period). The decline in natural increase and in net in-migration from other provinces between 2001 and 2006 was offset by a slight increase in immigration.

This photograph shows the city of Halifax as seen from the Citadel.The 2006 Census enumerated 913,462 people in Nova Scotia, which remains the most populous of the Atlantic provinces. The 2001 to 2006 period was characterized by a return to population growth (+0.6%) after an episode of zero growth between 1996 and 2001.

This photograph shows a pedestrian bridge between Île-aux-puces and Bouctouche, New Brunswick.In New Brunswick, the size of the population was virtually unchanged since 2001. The province had 729,997 residents in 2006, compared with 729,498 in 2001, an increase of 499, or 0.1%. This contrasts with the negative rate (-1.2%) observed for the preceding intercensal period. Between 2001 and 2006, the province's international immigration was double what it was in the previous period, reaching its highest level since the 1976 to 1981 period.

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