Among the many data that can be analyzed for each individual nation, demographics is definitely one of the most important. Demography is in fact the quantitative study, based on statistical investigation, of the phenomena concerning the population considered both in the characteristics that it presents at a given time, and in the variations that occur as a result of births and deaths. In this case we will analyze data from 1871 to 2021, both at macro and territorial level.
Evolution of population in Canada
Let’s start with an initial figure. How many people live in Canada and how have they changed over time? Canada’s population in 2019 was over 37 million. More precisely, the United Nations figure speaks of 37,411,047 inhabitants.
Compared to 1871, Canada’s population has increased by over 1000%. In fact, as you can see in the chart above, Canada’s population in 1871 was 3,689,257. The growth since 1871 has been steady. There were some moments of weaker growth and others of stronger growth. From 1871 to 1871 in fact the growth in absolute terms was not very large. Growth that has expanded decisively in the ’60s and ’70s reaching 21.5 million in 1971.
Population of Canada by Province and Territory 1871 – 2021
Averaging the various available sources, in Canada, at the beginning of 2021, the estimated population was 38,048,738. But what are the provinces and territories with the most inhabitants? And how have demographics evolved over time? At the beginning of 2021, the first Province in terms of population was Ontario. Out of a total of over 38 million, Ontario has 14 million and 755 thousand inhabitants. A figure that places it decidedly in first place. Next comes Quebec, which in 2021 had 8 million 576 thousand inhabitants. Among the first provinces are British Columbia and Alberta. British Columbia has a population of over 5 million 100 thousand inhabitants and Alberta over 4 million 400 thousand. Manitoba and Saskatchewan also have over 1 million inhabitants, while the other provinces and territories all have less than 1 million inhabitants. The Province of Nova Scotia seems likely to exceed 1 million in population in the next few years.
It is important to emphasize one fact before seeing the population over the previous decades. In all cases the same criterion was used: inhabitants were included only from the moment the territories or provinces entered the Confederation. In the case of Nunavut, entry occurred on April 1, 1999.
In terms of historical analysis, it is interesting to note that Quebec was, at least in 1881, the first nation in terms of population with 3 million 700 thousand. From the 1990’s onwards, Ontario has maintained its lead as the most populated province. On the contrary, the gap with Quebec in absolute terms has been increasing. In third place, in 1871, was the Province of Nova Scotia with almost 400 thousand inhabitants, followed by New Brunswick with 285 thousand and 600. Brisbane Columbia in the 30’s and 40’s took the third position and has never left it, at least until today.
Age distribution of the population in Canada – 2020
We looked at the data nationally and compared to other countries. We saw the data at the provincial and territorial level. In this other chapter we will look at the age distribution of the population in Canada. The data, in this case, refers to the population as of July 1, 2020. The data were taken from: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/.
The median age for the female sex in Canada is 41.9 years. For the male sex, however, it is 39.8 years. The national average is around 40.9 years.
At the level of absolute age distribution, the male population group with the most people in Canada is the 25-29 age group. This is a population group that has usually finished its studies and is approaching the world of work. For females, the age group with the most people is 55 to 59. This is followed by the 35-39 age group. The older the age group gets, from 70 onwards, the greater the gap between men and women. In Canada there are 9361 women over 1000 years of age and only 2156 men over 1000 years of age.
List of the 100 largest population centres in Canada
And in terms of population centers, which ones are the most populated? At the top of this ranking in 2016 we find Toronto. With a population of 5 million and 400 thousand, the Ontario city leads this ranking followed by Montreal in Quebec and Vancouver in British Columbia. These 3 urban centers add up to over 11 million and 200 thousand inhabitants in all of Canada. A very high figure compared to the nation’s total of 37.4 million.
These top three cities, from 2011 to 2016, are all growing. From Vancouver which saw the population increase din a +6.6% to Montreal where the figure + of 3.9%. Among the first cities by number of inhabitants there are also Calgary, whose growth was +13.1% in just 5 years (arriving at 1 million 237 thousand inhabitants and Edmonton, also in Alberta, where the growth was +13.6%. Edmonton, thanks to this leap forward, has abundantly exceeded one million inhabitants and is about to reach 1 million 100 thousand inhabitants. Below you can see, in the table, the top 10 largest population centers in Canada. The change refers to the 2016 figure compared to 2011.
Source and links
I used a variety of sources to make this article and the video more generally. These included various government data – you can find links in the article – and data from the United Nations.
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