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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Canadians in Context - Geographic Distribution

How many are we?

  1. Population Size and Growth

Where do we live?

  1. Geographic Distribution

What are our perceptions?

  1. Perceptions and Life Satisfaction



This section describes the Regional Distribution of people across Canada, showing the proportion of the Canadian population in each province and territory. It also describes Urbanization: the change over the last century in the proportion of Canadians who live in urban areas.


Regional Distribution

On January 1, 2013, the majority (86.2%) of people in Canada lived in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta. Between 1993 and 2013, the percentage of Canada's population living in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia increased while the percentage living in all other provinces declined. The population in the territories remained stable.


This Chart contains data for Canadian population, by region, 1993 and 2013. Information is available in table below YT/NT/NU (Jan 1, 2013) = 0.3 YT/NT/NU (Jan 1, 1993) = 0.3 BC (Jan 1, 2013) = 13.2 BC (Jan 1, 1993) = 12.3 AB (Jan 1, 2013) = 11.2 AB (Jan 1, 1993) = 9.3 SK (Jan 1, 2013) = 3.1 SK (Jan 1, 1993) = 3.5 MB (Jan 1, 2013) = 3.6 MB (Jan 1, 1993) = 3.9 ON (Jan 1, 2013) = 38.7 ON (Jan 1, 1993) = 37.3 QC (Jan 1, 2013) = 23.1 QC (Jan 1, 1993) = 25.0 NB (Jan 1, 2013) = 2.2 NB (Jan 1, 1993) = 2.6 NS (Jan 1, 2013) = 2.7 NS (Jan 1, 1993) = 3.2 PE (Jan 1, 2013) = 0.4 PE (Jan 1, 1993) = 0.5 NL (Jan 1, 2013) = 1.5 NL (Jan 1, 1993) = 2.0 (percent) Canadian population, by region, 1993 and 2013

Source: ESDC calculations based on Statistics Canada. Statistics Canada. Table 051-0005 - Estimates of population, Canada, provinces and territories, quarterly (persons), CANSIM (database) (accessed: 2013-07-25).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Canadian population, by region, 1993 and 2013 (percent)
NLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCYT/NT/NU
Jan 1, 19932.00.53.22.625.037.33.93.59.312.30.3
Jan 1, 20131.50.42.72.223.138.73.63.111.213.20.3

Urbanization

An urban area is defined as an area with a population of at least 1,000 and with no fewer than 400 persons per square kilometre.

The proportion of Canadians who live in urban areas has increased steadily since Confederation. In 2011, more than 27 million Canadians (81%) lived in urban areas, a reversal from over a century ago. The three largest urban areas in Canada - Toronto, Vancouver, and Montral - made up just over one third (35%) of Canada's entire population, in 2011.


This Chart contains data for Population living in urban areas, Canada, 1871-2011. Information is available in table below 2011 = 81 2006 = 80 2001 = 80 1981 = 76 1961 = 70 1941 = 54 1911 = 45 1891 = 31 1871 = 19 (percent) Population living in urban areas, Canada, 1871-2011

Note: For 1981 to 2011, "urban population" refers to persons living within centres with a population of 1,000 or more and within areas with at least 400 persons per square kilometre. Before 1981, "urban population" refers to populations within centres of 1,000 people or more.

Source: For 1871 to 2001, Statistics Canada. Population urban and rural, by province and territory (Canada). Available from: Summary Tables (accessed October 19, 2006); For 2006 and 2011, Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2011 Census. Available from: 2011 Census (accessed March 12, 2012).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Population living in urban areas, Canada, 1871-2011 (percent)
187118911911194119611981200120062011
193145547076808081

In 2011, the urban-rural distribution was uneven across the provinces and territories. Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta all had populations with urban proportions higher than the national level. Other provinces and territories had rural populations significantly higher than the national average, ranging from 28% in Manitoba to 53% in Prince Edward Island.

This Chart contains data for Population living in urban areas, by region, 2011. Information is available in table below NU = 48 NT = 59 YT = 60 BC = 86 AB = 83 SK = 67 MB = 72 ON = 86 QC = 81 NB = 53 NS = 57 PE = 47 NL = 59 CAN = 81 (percent) Population living in urban areas, by region, 2011

Source: HRSDC calculation based on Statistics canada. Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables, 2011 Census. Available from: 2011 Census (accessed March 12, 2012).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Population living in urban areas, by region, 2011 (percent)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCYTNTNU
8159475753818672678386605948

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Date Modified:
2014-11-25