12/20/2011 11:27 EST | Updated 02/19/2012 05:12 EST

Immigrants main driver of Manitoba's population growth: Statistics Canada

WINNIPEG - Statistics Canada figures show immigrants are the main driver behind Manitoba's continued population growth.

Since October 2010, a record 15,770 people from around the world have come to the province.

Manitoba has a provincial nominee program that aims to speed up the process of applying for a permanent visa.

Trade Minister Peter Bjornson says the province's population growth is the third-best in the country.

There are now 1,254,700 people who call Manitoba home.