New population data from Statistics Canada shows that Canadians are moving away from large, urban centers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than living in smaller communities located near larger cities.
The new report released Thursday found that Carleton Place, Ont., about 46 kilometers outside Ottawa, saw its population increase by about four percent last year, making it the fastest-growing community in Canada.
According to StatCan, Cowansville in Quebec came in second with a growth rate of 3.7 percent, followed by Wasaga Beach in Ontario at 3.7 percent and then Woodstock, Ont., which saw its population increase by 3.1 percent.
The report considers the combined areas to be a Census Group (CAs) – those with a core population of at least 10,000 – and Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs), which have a total population of at least 100,000, of whom 50,000 or more live. Corner.
Overall, the number of Canadians living in rural areas increased by 0.7 percent between July 2020 and July 2021, with Ontario and Quebec having moved to rural areas within their respective provinces since at least 2001. Reported the highest number of urban dwellers.
The report found that except for the Ottawa-Gatineau region and the city of Lethbridge, Ontario and Alberta recorded the greatest number of residents moving to other provinces.
“These projections, to first give us a look at a sub-provincial level for a full year of the COVID-19 pandemic, tell us about an accelerating trend in migration from large urban centers, driving their continued growth into large cities. The scale is supported by international migration,” the StatCan report said.
StatCan says population growth in urban areas – both large and small – has slowed for the second year in a row.
According to the report, a record number of people have opted to relocate outside some of Canada’s largest CMAs, with Toronto and Montreal reporting the largest net expatriate exchanges since at least 2001, along with other regions in their respective provinces. Damage seen.
StatCan says personal health, the ability to work remotely, and high housing costs are among the “most important factors” contributing to many Canadians’ decision not to live in large urban centers.
The report said permanent immigrants in Canada accounted for most of the population growth seen between July 2020 and July 2021, while the loss of non-permanent residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic has “significantly reduced growth”. has contributed.
According to Statistics Canada, the communities with the highest population growth rates in the past year are:
- Carlton Place, Ont. (3.8 percent)
- Cowansville, Q. (3.7 percent)
- Wasaga Beach, Ont. (3.5 percent)
- Woodstock, Ont. (3.1 percent)
- Lachut, K. (2.9 percent)
- Collingwood, Ont. (2.9 percent)
- Kelowna, BC (2.6 percent)
- Squamish, BC (2.5 percent)
- Whitehorse, Yukon (2.4 percent)
- Arnprior, Ont. (2.3 percent)
- Oshawa, Ontario (2.3 percent)
- Center Wellington, Ont. (2.2 percent)
- Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Ky. (2.1 percent)
- Halifax, NS (2.1 percent)
- Summerside, PEI (2 percent)
- Moncton, NB (2 percent)