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2006 Census: Portrait of the Canadian Population in 2006: Subprovincial population dynamics

Population growth has been uneven across the country

Most of Canada's population growth since 2001 has taken place in urban areas rather than in rural areas. As shown on the map, growth rates higher than the national average were concentrated in four large regions that have major metropolitan centres: the southern parts of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia and the Calgary - Red Deer - Edmonton corridor.

Canada. Population change, 2001 to 2006, by 2006 census division (CD)

In southern Ontario, population growth for the zone from Peterborough to London, including Oshawa, Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener, was high between 2001 and 2006. This zone makes up a large portion of the Greater Golden Horseshoe administrative region.

This photograph shows the downtown part of Toronto.In Quebec, there was a high rate of population growth in a large area surrounding the island of Montréal and encompassing Montérégie, the Eastern Townships and the Lower Laurentians.

In Alberta, growth rates above the national average were observed in a north-south corridor running from Edmonton to Medicine Hat, including Red Deer and Calgary.

In British Columbia, the lower mainland and southern Vancouver Island area, which contains three of the province's four CMAs (Victoria, Vancouver and Abbotsford), accounted for most of the province's growth, as it did in the 1996 to 2001 period.

In addition to those four major zones, a few other areas experienced significant population growth since 2001: the Ottawa - Gatineau area on the border between Ontario and Quebec; Moncton, New Brunswick; Québec City, Quebec; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Grande Prairie and Wood Buffalo areas in northern Alberta.

Since 2001, most rural areas grew at a slower pace than the country as a whole or, in some cases, suffered a population decline. In general, these areas are located far from the country's large urban centres. In most cases, they have natural resource-based economies, such as fishing, agriculture, forestry and mining.

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