New terminology for "urban areas"

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Statistics Canada is introducing new terminology that it will use with respect to geographic areas that have in the past been referred to as "urban areas".

Effective immediately, the term "population centre" will replace "urban area". Population centres will be classified into one of three groups, based on the size of their population. The term "rural area" and its definition will not change. Rural area will continue to be used for areas outside these population centres.

These changes are designed to improve the interpretation of Statistics Canada's data.

Current users of the concept of urban area will be able to continue with their longitudinal analysis using the new concept of population centres.

A note titled "From urban areas to population centres", now available on our website, explains the new terminology and classification of population centres.

For more information, contact GEOHelp (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 613-951-3889; fax: 613-951-0569;, Geography Division.