What the 2021 census tells us about Canada’s changing population

Originally Posted: February 9, 2022

By: Oliver Moore

Statistics Canada reports population increases in the Maritimes and Canada’s downtowns as country climbs to 36.9 million people

The Halifax skyline looms behind pedestrians on the waterfront in Dartmouth, N.S., in 2018. The latest census showed more growth in downtown Halifax than any other city centre.DARREN CALABRESE/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Statistics Canada rolled out the first batch of data from the 2021 census on Wednesday, offering a picture of an urbanizing country whose growth was too robust for the COVID-19 pandemic to squelch.

The data show Canada’s population grew by 5.2 per cent from 2016 through 2021, bringing the total to 36,991,981 people. Most of that increase came in the first four of those years. The final year, during the pandemic, had the lowest growth since the First World War. The agency said it did not model how much more the population might have grown had the pandemic not emerged.

The census data also show a turnaround in the long trend of population loss in the Maritimes, and an increased rate of population growth in city centres.

“For most of the downtowns of the 41 large urban centres of the country, population growth actually accelerated in the last five years, compared to the previous five-year period,” said Laurent Martel, director of the Centre for Demography at Statistics Canada.

The agency acknowledged it was difficult to conduct a census during a pandemic and praised Canadians who participated in spite of the third wave of COVID-19. It said the response rate was 98 per cent.

This is only one of seven tranches of census 2021 data Statscan is expected to release. The agency will publish data on the country’s shifting demographic profile in April. Additional data on income, housing, mobility and other themes will come throughout the year.

Read the full article: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-2021-census-canada-population-highlights/

What the 2021 census tells us about Canada’s changing population
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