Federal census: Edmonton cracks 900000 and outpaces regional growth

Snow in Vancouver 20170203

Canada's overall population came in at 35,151,728.

Municipalities located farther away from urban centres - essentially small rural communities - show a higher proportion of population declines than those that are close to a city or town.

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). Ontario's growth rate, despite being much lower than Alberta's by percentage, still included a much larger number of people.

According to Hallman, we know from other sources that while births and deaths are now about equal in the province - though that is expected to change as the population continues to age - Nova Scotia is experiencing population loss to other provinces in Canada.

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).

The national capital area's population growth is not as robust since 2011 when the census that year recorded a 9 per cent increase for Ottawa-Gatineau.

Between 2011 and 2016, the Yukon had the fourth highest population growth rate in Canada, tying with Manitoba. The City of Toronto grew by 116,511 people over five years to 2,731,571 in 2016, a 4.45% increase.

Other parts of southern Ontario to lose population between 2011 and 2016 include Owen Sound, Meaford, Sarnia, Chatham-Kent, Leamington, and rural areas around London and Sarnia.


New Brunswick was the only province or territory to report a decrease in population between 2011 and 2016.

"We really need to look at household composition to better understand this", she said.

There were 705,244 residents in the city of Winnipeg in May 2016. Its population has grown by 56 people (1.3 per cent) since the 2011 census.

Puslinch saw a 4.4 per cent increase, while the population jumped by four per cent in Minto and 3.8 per cent in both Wellington North and Guelph/Eramosa.

As a result of that growth, according to StatsCan, "almost one-third (31.6 per cent) of Canadians lived in the West in 2016, the largest share on record". 2016's survey was the first mandatory long-form census since it was reintroduced by the Liberal government after being axed by the Conservatives in 2010.

The numbers surprised Edmonton economist John Rose, who underestimated the city's population by roughly 20,000.

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected from a previous version that said Alberta's growth rate powered Canada's population past the 35-million mark. "There are fewer people coming to settle in Quebec than in the western provinces".

As a part of Wednesday's release, StatsCan also announced that over the coming year, as Canadians celebrate 150 years since Confederation, "the agency will unveil the full range of census data that will together paint a factual picture of the lives of Canadians and their communities".

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