OTTAWA – New census data shows the population of the metropolitan area of Toronto outpaced the national growth rate over the last five years.
Statistics Canada released the first batch of numbers from the 2016 census on Wednesday and the population of what the government agency refers to as the census metropolitan area of Toronto increased by 6.2 per cent since the last census in 2011.
The area’s growth rate was above the national growth rate of 5.0 per cent, while the population of Ontario increased by 4.6 per cent.
Census metropolitan areas do not conform to established municipal boundaries. Statistics Canada defines them as a metropolitan area with a population of at least 100,000, where the urban core of that area has at least 50,000 people. Commuting patterns and other factors are used in determining these census metropolitan areas. Looking at metropolitan areas this way takes in to account the growing impact of suburban areas on Canada’s largest cities.
When the 2016 census was taken last May 10, the population of the census metropolitan area of Toronto was 5,928,040, compared with 5,583,064 from the 2011 census. The population of the actual city of Toronto was 2,731,571, up from from 2,615,060 in 2011.
The census indicated that Toronto ranked No. 1 among the country’s 35 census metropolitan areas.
Canada’s population on census day was 35,151,728, Statistics Canada reported.
WATCH: Here are the main takeaways from Canada’s 2016 census
The national census is conducted every five years. The information published Wednesday is the first of several releases of data to come from Statistics Canada over the next year that will eventually paint a detailed picture of the country, right down to the local level – including age breakdowns of the population, family makeup, languages spoken, immigration and ethnic origin, the level of education attained and income earned.
Future census releases will give more insight to explain the reasons behind the population changes – whether it’s related mostly to changes in birth and death rates, immigration or interprovincial migration.
At the provincial level, population levels in Alberta saw the highest increase at 11.6 per cent, followed by Saskatchewan (6.3 per cent) and Manitoba (5.8 per cent).
Growth in New Brunswick shrank by 0.5 per cent – the first time since 2006 a province has reported a negative growth rate.
British Columbia’s population levels increased by 5.6 per cent, compared with Ontario (4.6 per cent), Quebec (3.3 per cent), Prince Edward Island (1.9 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (1.0 per cent) and Nova Scotia (0.2 per cent). Among the northern territories, the population grew by 0.8 per cent in the Northwest Territories, 12.7 per cent in Nunavut and 5.8 per cent in Yukon.
Ontario is still the country’s most populous province, with a population of 13,448,494. The population of other provinces and territories: Quebec, 8,164,361; British Columbia, 4,648,055; Alberta, 4,067,175; Manitoba, 1,278,365; Saskatchewan, 1,098,352; Nova Scotia, 923,598; New Brunswick, 747,101; Newfoundland and Labrador, 519,716; Prince Edward Island, 142,907; Northwest Territories, 41,786; Nunavut, 35,944 and Yukon, 35,874.