The COVID-19 pandemic is having a “profound” impact on Canada’s population, according to Statistics Canada.

In a new report, the government agency revealed that the third quarter of 2020 saw the lowest quarterly population growth since January 1946.

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Canada's population as of October 1

As of October 1, 2020, the country’s population was estimated at 38,008,005, which was up just 2,767 (+0.0%) from July 1 in the same year. 

Perhaps even more surprising, in six provinces and two territories, the population actually decreased.

It’s the first time this has happened since 1951, according to Statistics Canada.

British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador had the biggest declines, with populations down by 1,861 people and 1,105 people respectively.

On the other hand, Alberta saw the biggest population growth, recording an increase of 6,236 people during the same time period.

While the report suggests the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for the shift, it explains that deaths from the illness only had a “small impact” on the country's overall population.

Instead, the biggest impact came from the losses in international migration due to travel restrictions, which is down by 27,143 people.

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