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As of the latest population census in 2016, Canada had 35,151,700 inhabitants. Distributed evenly over the entire area of this large country, that makes for an average of 3.5 people per square kilometre. In contrast, Germany’s population density is 227 individuals per square kilometre.

However, the majority of Canadians live in the metropolitan centres. As of 2016, 82 percent of Canadians were living in large or medium-sized cities. More than one Canadian in three lives in one of Canada’s three largest urban centres with a population of more than 1 million: Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. 

Today the Canadian population continues to grow predominantly through immigration. In the last ten years, two-thirds of the population growth could be attributed to that factor. Overall, the population grew by 5.0% between 2011 and 2016, making it the highest growth rate of the G-7 countries.

Of all the provinces and territories, Alberta experienced the largest population growth between 2011 and 2016, at 10.2%, followed by Yukon (+8.5%) and Nunavut (+7.8%). In Alberta, the rise is related to both a natural increase and a higher number of immigrants during this period. Alberta’s gains in migratory exchanges with Canada's other provinces and territories are also a contributing factor.

The youngest overall population in Canada is found in Nunavut, which has an average age of just 25 years, far lower than the Canadian national average of 41 years.

Canada is among the most popular countries for immigration. This popularity has increased the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country, especially since the liberalization of immigration policies in the 1960s and 1970s. 2016 figures show that just over one fifth of the Canadian population was born outside Canada. Over the years, immigrants to Canada have come from various regions of the world. According to the most recent census, the main countries of origin of new immigrants are the Philippines, China and India.

Within the last fifty years the population of Canada has almost doubled. At the same time, it has become more ethnically and culturally diverse and has in fact, become one of the most multicultural countries in the world.

Source: Statistics Canada

The biggest cities ...

Toronto (5.9m inhabitants)
Montréal (4.1m)
Vancouver (2.5m)
Ottawa-Gatineau (1.2m)
Calgary (1.4m)
Edmonton (1.3m)


The most populous province

13.4m inhabitants


Population growth

1.4 %


Percentage of immigrant population

16.1 % (2016 Census)