December 19, 2008

Continued Population Growth for Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador�s population has increased by 1,049 people from July to October 2008, representing the highest quarterly growth rate since 1991, according to Statistics Canada. The Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board, said the province�s population has increased in four of the past five quarters.

"I am pleased that our province�s population has increased again this quarter as a result of significant net in-migration of 1,070 people which offset a natural decline," said Minister Kennedy. "Quarterly net-migration reached its highest level in 37 years and remained positive for the fifth consecutive quarter."

The province�s population was 508,944 as of October 1, 2008, representing an increase of 1,049 people (or 0.2 per cent) from the previous quarter. Net gains were recorded in both inter-provincial and international migrants.

"Continued population growth for the province is significant news," said Minister Kennedy. "We are seeing people moving to Newfoundland and Labrador, from other provinces and from elsewhere in the world. This demonstrates the confidence that individuals have in Newfoundland and Labrador, our strong economic position, and in making it their home."

The Provincial Government has made significant investments in recent years to improve the lives of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, including significant investment in the province�s health and education systems, along with its Poverty Reduction Strategy; unprecedented investment in infrastructure through the province�s estimated $4 billion infrastructure strategy, resulting in job creation; tax cuts and fee reductions.

While the Newfoundland and Labrador economy has been affected by the world economic downturn it remains buoyant, with the province projecting two per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year. Domestic demand remains strong with investment expected to increase by 15 per cent this year; retail sales are up by 9.1 per cent from January to October 2008; and total housing starts are up by 25.4 per cent in the first three quarters.

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Media contact:

Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Finance
709-729-6830, 685-2646

2008 12 19                                                    2:30 p.m.

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