Canada’s population has climbed above 36 million thanks to the record number of immigrants who arrived in the country last year.
Statistics Canada says the country recorded an overall increase of 437,815 people, or 1.2 per cent, during the 2015-16 year. It’s the biggest yearly increase since 1988-89.
The sudden rise is largely due to immigration, Statistics Canada officials say; just over 86,000 people immigrated during the second quarter of 2016, making the total number of immigrants for the past year around 320,000.
That pushed the population to an estimated 36,286,425 as of July 1st, 2016.
The report says the influx of Syrian refugees helped boost the overall numbers. The federal government says more than 30,000 Syrians have come to Canada since last November.
The last official time Canada saw a number close to this high was in 2009-10 when Canada let in just over 270,000 people.
Officials say there were more immigrants received in the early 1910s during the settlement of Western Canada, but since demographic accounts started in 1971, official numbers weren’t immediately available.
Among the results released Wednesday, Statistics Canada also said the median age of Canadians is 40.9 years old, the number of births in the country for the past year was around 393,000 and the number of deaths for the same period was around 269,000.
The numbers are based on 2011 Census counts.
With files from Rebecca Joseph, National Online Journalist, Global News