Video - Canada tops G7 growth despite COVID, American Sign Language

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Canada tops G7 growth despite COVID, American Sign Language - Video transcript

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Canada tops G7 growth despite COVID (Daily 1)")

Statistics Canada released the first results from the 2021 Census of Population on February 9, 2022. These results focus on the growth in population and dwellings from 2016 to 2021 at the national, provincial and territorial levels, as well as for various sub provincial geographical levels.

Although the onset of the pandemic slowed Canada's population growth in 2020, Canada remains the fastest-growing country in the G7.

Canada's population grew at almost twice the pace of other G7 countries from 2016 to 2021. Canada is now home to almost 37 million people, 1.8 million more than in 2016. Most of the increase occurred prior to the pandemic, with Canada's population rising by a record high of 583,000 people in 2019.

Immigration, not fertility, mostly drove Canada's population growth from 2016 to 2021 and was also the main reason for the slowdown since 2020, due to border restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The population of the Maritimes grew at a faster pace than the Prairies for the first time in the census since the 1940s. This was due to rising immigration and an influx of Canadians from other parts of the country.

The population of Yukon grew at the fastest pace nationally from 2016 to 2021, at 12.1%, while Prince Edward Island and British Columbia had the highest growth rates among the provinces, at 8% and 7.6% respectively.

Newfoundland and Labrador was the only province to see their population decline from 2016 to 2021, by 1.8%.

Canada continues to urbanize. The census counted just over 6.6 million Canadians living in a rural area in May 2021, up 0.4% compared with five years earlier, but well below the pace of growth in urban areas, at 6.3%. Immigrants are far more likely to settle in an urban area than a rural setting, which explains most of the difference in growth.

The population rose in all 41 large urban centres from 2016 to 2021, with growth accelerating in most of them. In the spring of 2021, nearly three in four Canadians lived in one of Canada's 41 large urban centres.

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Canada's large urban centres continue to grow and spread (based on Daily 2)")

The populations of downtowns, urban fringes and near, intermediate and distant suburbs grew in most large urban centres from 2016 to 2021, but their pace of growth varied considerably.

From 2016 to 2021, the downtown populations of Canada's large urban centres grew by 10.9%, compared with 6.1% for the populations of urban centres as a whole. Downtowns also grew over twice as fast from 2016 to 2021 as in the previous five-year period.

In the spring of 2021, approximately 3.5% of Canadians were living in the downtown of one of Canada's 41 large urban centres. According to the census, the most populated downtowns were Toronto at 275,931 people, Vancouver at 121,932 people, Montréal at 109,509 people, Ottawa at 67,169 people and Edmonton at 55,387 people. Vancouver had the most densely populated downtown, with 18,837 inhabitants per square kilometre.

The downtown of Halifax grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2021, at 26.1%. Other downtowns of Canada's largest population centres that showed very robust population growth include Montréal with 24.2% growth, Calgary with 21% growth, and Toronto with 16.1% growth.

At the same time, urban spread continued, and was accelerating in many large urban centres. In Canada's three largest urban centres, the distant suburbs that are 30 minutes or more from downtown grew at a faster pace than the urban fringe and suburbs closer to downtown.

COVID-19 ended the rapid population growth that occurred in Canada's downtowns from 2016 to 2019. Population growth also slowed in the suburbs, albeit to a lesser extent.

The 2021 Census data to be released over the coming months will paint a detailed statistical portrait of Canadian communities from coast to coast.