Half of Canada’s Urban Population Growth Was In Just 3 Cities

Canada’s urban population is booming, and the usual suspects landed the most residents. Statistics Canada (Stat Can) population estimates show the country’s largest cities saw the biggest rise in population. The fastest rate of growth was located in smaller cities in Southern Ontario.

Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver See The Most People

The country’s biggest cities predictably showed the largest population growth by number of people. Toronto came in first with the population rising to 6,471,850 in 2019, up 127,575 people from a year before. Montreal followed with the population reaching 4,318,505, up 65,205 people over the same period. Vancouver reached a population of 2,691,351 people, adding 39,045 people from a year before. Canada’s urban population growth was estimated at 463,424 people last year. This means the net increase in just the top 3 cities, was equal to half of all urban population growth.

Canadian Cities With The Largest Population Increase

The largest net increase of population for Canadian cities in 2019.

Source: Stat Can, Better Dwelling.

Only one major city across Canada made a decline – and it wasn’t by many people. St. John’s, Newfoundland is home to an estimated 212,433 people as of 2019. They lost 115 people compared to a year before. The equivalent of half of a plane doesn’t seem like much of an issue though. Maybe they booked a return ticket?

Kitchener, and London See Largest Rate of Growth

The largest rate of estimated population growth has been happening in Southern Ontario. The Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo cluster increased to 584,259 people in 2019, up 2.82% from a year before. That makes it the fastest rate of growth for any major city in Canada. London, Ontario follows with 545,441 people, up 2.35% from a year before. Halifax comes in third with 440,348 people, up 2.26% from a year before. Both the Kitchener and London areas topped the rate of growth a year before as well.

Canadian Cities With The Fastest Rate of Population Increase

The largest rate of population growth for Canadian cities in 2019.

Source: CREA, Better Dwelling.

The lowest population growth was seen in St. John’s, Sauguenay, and Sudbury. St. John’s fell to 212,433 people in 2019, that’s a drop of 0.05% of the population. Saguenay, Quebec saw the second slowest rate of growth with the population hitting 162,416 people, up 0.32% from a year before. Sudbury was third with 172,216 people, up 0.41% from a year before. As for St. John’s being the only loss, the whole province of Newfoundland has seen a population decline.

Canada’s population has seen substantial growth over the past few years. Urban population increased in almost every market, but half of growth occurred in just 3 regions. To complicate the issue further, the fastest rate of growth is in two cities in the same economic region as Greater Toronto.

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  • Patrick 6 months ago

    Economic and population growth go hand in hand. The outflow never shows up until the economy corrects, forcing the high skilled labour to look elsewhere.

  • Marc 6 months ago

    and yet the population is still aging… meaning we’ll need to accelerate importing people to gain a prime aged workforce.

  • Ultro 6 months ago

    And nobody talk how many people left Canada in 2019 (61,815) and how many people die in Canada every year

  • danishh 6 months ago

    Note – Ottawa-Gatineau (Ontario part) was actually the second highest rate of growth. Ottawa-Gatineau (Quebec part) drags it down. For comparisons like this, Canadian and StatCan style is generally to report them separately and a have a separate data point for the combined CMA.

  • RainCityRyan 6 months ago

    Really interesting to see that one of those top three cities (Vancouver) doesn’t even make the board when it comes to net % change.

  • Asterix1 6 months ago

    GTA is big ponzi scheme! As G&M reported yesterday, locals are getting out, “Over the most recent year, nearly 48,000 more people left the Toronto area for other parts of Ontario than made the opposite move.” The objective seems to be to funnel as many new immigrants as you can into a city with failing infrastructures, relatively low paying jobs (vs USA), extremely high housing costs and growing crime.

    Less immigrants have settled in Toronto than the past, they are looking elsewhere, in the province or Canada, smart move! For those who do stay, hardship ahead, not the best financial decision one can make. (for the time being).

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