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Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006
Now we are 30,007,094
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Globe and Mail Update
Tuesday, March 12

Canada's population has crept upward 4 per cent since 1996, says the first census of the new millennium — one of the smallest census-to-census increases ever, with most growth occurring in cities.

The country had 30,007,094 people as of May 15, 2001, data said, an increase of a little over a million people compared with the previous census of May 14, 1996, when 28,846,761 were counted.

"With natural increases declining, immigration accounted for more than one-half of Canada's population growth between 1996 and 2001," Statistics Canada said, noting that Canada's fertility rates are continuing to drop and its aging population is contributing to a rising death rate.

Since the last census, the country's population has increased by 1,160,333.

As anticipated, the information, gleaned from the May, 2001, census by Statistics Canada and released Tuesday, shows a continuing trend toward living in urban areas rather than rural. A total of 79.4 per cent of Canadians lived in an urban centre of 10,000 people or more in 2001, compared with 78.5 per cent in 1996.

In recognition of growing urbanization, Statistics Canada added two entries — Kingston and Abbotsford, B.C. — to its roster of 25 so-called census-metropolitan areas or city-regions with at least 100,000 people.

Of those 27 census metropolitan areas, the largest growth rates were in Calgary, Oshawa and Toronto.

In 2001, 19,297,0000 people, or 64 per cent, lived in the 27 census metropolitan areas, compared with 63 per cent in 1996.

Meanwhile, on average, the population of rural areas decreased 0.4 per cent.

Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia were the only three provinces to rise above the national average growth of 4 per cent.

Alberta had the highest population growth — 10.3 per cent — while Ontario was second growth with 6.1 per cent and British Columbia gained 4.9 per cent over 1996. Alberta now has 2,974,807 residents, Ontario has 11,410,046 and British Columbia has 3,907,738.

Ontario's growth was pegged at a "high level of immigration," the agency said, noting that "more than one-half of the immigrants who came to Canada during the past five years settled in Ontario."

The 2001 census was conducted on May 15 of last year. It cost $425-million and employed about 45,000 people, most part-time workers.

A new question on the 2001 census gathered information on same-sex relationships. That data are to be released in October, along with new information on families, marital and common-law status and household populations.
More to come

How many people, how many homes
ProvincePopulationTotal private dwellings
20011996% change
Canada 30,007,094 28,846,761 4.0 12,548,588
Newfoundland and Labrador 512,930 551,792 -7.0 227,570
Prince Edward Island 135,294 134,557 0.5 55,992
Nova Scotia 908,007 909,282 -0.1 403,819
New Brunswick 729,498 738,133 -1.2 313,609
Quebec 7,237,479 7,138,795 1.4 3,230,196
Ontario 11,410,046 10,753,573 6.1 4,556,240
Manitoba 1,119,583 1,113,898 0.5 477,085
Saskatchewan 978,933 990,237 -1.1 431,628
Alberta 2,974,807 2,696,826 10.3 1,171,841
British Columbia 3,907,738 3,724,500 4.9 1,643,969
Yukon Territory 28,674 30,766 -6.8 13,793
Northwest Territories 37,360 39,672 A -5.8 14,669
Nunavut 26,745 24,730 A 8.1 8,177
Excludes census data for one or more incompletely enumerated Indian reserves or Indian settlements.

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Statistics Canada
2001 Census links

•  A profile of the Canadian population - main page 
•  Public consultation 
•  Content of the questionnaires 
•  The 2001 Census questionnaire (PDF) 
•  Reasons why the questions are asked 
•  Collection 
•  Data processing 
•  Data release dates 
•  2001 Census Preview of Products and Services 
•  Privacy 
•  Confidentiality 
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