Population change in Canada's drainage areas
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Giuseppe Filoso and Doug Trant
The size and distribution of Canada's population are changing continually. During the 25 year period from 1981 to 2006, Canada's population increased 30%, growing from 24.3 million to 31.6 million people.1 Using detailed data from the Census, this population change can be calculated for each of Canada's drainage areas, effectively linking people to the fresh-water resource that supports them (Map 1).
The urbanized drainage areas that support Canada's three largest cities, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, saw population increases of 51%, 22% and 81% respectively, over this time period (Table 1). In absolute terms, populations increased by 2.31 million in the Lake Ontario and Niagara Peninsula drainage area (02H) surrounding Toronto, by 853 thousand in the Central St. Lawrence (02O) around Montreal and by 822 thousand in the Lower Fraser (08M), which includes Vancouver.
Over this same time period, some of Canada's more rural drainage areas experienced declines. Population dropped by 46 thousand or 21%, in the Northern Newfoundland drainage area (02Y), and by 15 thousand or 16% in the Lake Winnipegosis and Lake Manitoba drainage area (05L).
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