Canada releases its annual population estimates for metropolitan areas

February 13, 2015

Did you know?, International

Canada releases its annual population estimates for metropolitan areas, July 1, 2014
Release date: February 11, 2015

Source: Statistics Canada

On July 1, 2014, almost 7 in 10 Canadians, or 24,858,600 people, were living in a census metropolitan area (CMA). In turn, more than one in three Canadians (35.3%) made their home in Canada’s three largest CMAs—Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.

Between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 (2013/2014), the population growth rate was considerably higher for Canada’s CMAs (+1.4%) than for non-CMAs (+0.4%). In comparison, for Canada as a whole, the population growth rate was 1.1% during this period. The stronger population increase in CMAs was mostly the result of higher levels of international migration in CMAs (+1.0%) compared with non-CMAs (+0.2%).

During the past year, the population of the Toronto CMA broke the 6 million threshold, reaching 6,055,700, while the population of the Montréal CMA passed the 4 million mark (4,027,100).

Population growth stronger in the Prairie census metropolitan areas

For a third consecutive year, the four fastest growing CMAs were in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with Calgary (+3.6%) reporting the largest population growth.

It was followed by the CMAs of Edmonton (+3.3%), Saskatoon (+3.2%) and Regina (+2.8%). Kelowna (+1.8%), Winnipeg (+1.6%) and Toronto (+1.5%) were the only other CMAs in the country to post population growth rates higher than the national CMA average rate (+1.4%). In contrast, Saint John (-0.5%), New Brunswick, was the lone CMA in Canada to see its population decline significantly.

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Annual population estimates by census metropolitan area, July 1, 2014

Canada 35,540,419
All census metropolitan areas 24,858,634
Toronto 6,055,724
Montréal 4,027,121
Vancouver 2,470,289
Calgary 1,406,721
Edmonton 1,328,290
Ottawa–Gatineau 1,318,122
Ottawa–Gatineau, Ontario part 989,978
Ottawa–Gatineau, Quebec part 328,144
Québec 799,632
Winnipeg 782,640
Hamilton 765,228
Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo 506,858
London 502,360
Halifax 414,398
St. Catharines–Niagara 405,906
Oshawa 384,143
Victoria 358,685
Windsor (Located across from Detroit, US) 333,937
Saskatoon 300,634
Regina 237,758
Sherbrooke 212,061
St. John’s 211,724
Barrie 200,416
Kelowna 191,237
Abbotsford–Mission 178,967
Kingston 168,353
Greater Sudbury 165,690
Saguenay 160,138
Trois-Rivières 155,813
Guelph 150,946
Moncton 146,073
Brantford 143,074
Saint John 127,314
Thunder Bay 125,112
Peterborough 123,270

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Canada Metros
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International migration the main driver of population growth in census metropolitan areas

International migration was responsible for just over two-thirds of the population growth of CMAs in 2013/2014.

All CMAs with over 1 million inhabitants reported growth rates from international migration of 1.0% or higher, accounting for most of their population growth (71%). Three CMAs with under 1 million inhabitants, all on the Prairies, had the highest rates of international migration growth: Regina (+1.9%), Saskatoon (+1.8%) and Winnipeg (+1.7%).

Toronto CMA continued to post the highest net international migration with an increase of 79,500 people, or 31% of the total for Canada. However, this proportion represented a decline from 2003/2004, when the Toronto CMA accounted for 48%. The five Prairie CMAs were the main beneficiaries of the decline in Toronto’s proportion, as their contribution to Canada’s net international migration rose from 9% to 22% in the past decade.

Interprovincial migration a key driver of the growth of Alberta’s census metropolitan areas

In most of Canada’s CMAs (28 of 34), net interprovincial migration was zero or negative in 2013/2014.

The CMAs of Calgary and Edmonton recorded the highest interprovincial migration growth rates in Canada (+1.0% each), which contributed to their strong population growth.

Interprovincial migration growth in Saint John (-1.0%) was the lowest in the country, evidence of the population decrease observed in this CMA.
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Toronto
Toronto

Toronto

Toronto Skyline

Vancouver
Vancouver

Calgary
Calgary

Calgary

Edomonton
Edmonton skyline

Edmonton

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