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Description of the graphs for the HTML version:

Figure 1 shows the trend in the census rural population from 2.1 million in 1851 to 5 million in 1941 with a slight increase to 6 million in the 1991 to 2006 period. The census rural population was 0.3 million in 1851 and rose rapidly from 5.4 million in 1951 to 25.3 million in 2006.

Figure 2 shows continuous five-year growth in the census urban population from 1951 to 2006. However, the census rural population declined from 1951 to 1956, from 1961 to 1971 and from 1991 to 2001.

Figure 3 shows that the share of the census rural population located with CMAs and CAs has increased from 25% in 1981 to 35% in 2006.

Figure 4 shows a continuous growth in the population of CMAs from 10.7 million in 1966 to 21.5 million in 2006. The CA population was 1.8 million in 1966 and increased over time due to growth and reclassification and has been about 4 million since 1981. The RST population was 7.6 million in 1966 and although generally growing, the RST population has been about 6 million since 1981 due to reclassification.

Figure 5 shows the five-year percent change in population within CMAs, CAs and RST areas from 1966 to 2006. CMAs grew more than CAs which grew more than RST areas in each period – except RST grew more than CMAs or CAs in the 1976 to 1981 period and RST declined (-0.4%) in the 1996 to 2001 period.

Figure 6 shows that RST areas represented 36% of Canada's population in 1971 but only 19% in 2006.

Figure 7 ranks provinces by the share of the provincial population living in RST areas. The rank is Nunavut (100% in 2006), Northwest Territories (54.9%), Newfoundland and Labrador (54.1%), Prince Edward Island (45%), New Brunswick (41.5%), Saskatchewan (40.4%), Nova Scotia (35.8%), Manitoba (32.3%), Yukon (24.6%), Alberta (21.2%), Quebec (20.1%), Canadian average (18.9%), British Columbia (12.8%) and Ontario (11.9%). The shares within each province declined in each period from 1986 to 2006.

Figure 8 ranks the provinces by the share of the RST population in each province as a percent of the Canadian RST population. The shares are Quebec (24.4% in 2006), Ontario (24.2%) and Alberta (11.7%) with the remaining provinces each being less than 10% and Prince Edward Island and each Territory being less than 1%.

Figure 9 shows the population in CMAs (21.5 million in 2006), CAs (4.1 million), Strong MIZ (1.4 million), Moderate MIZ (2.2 million), Weak MIZ (2 million), No MIZ (298 thousand) and the RST Territories (60 thousand). The major change was the growth in CMA population in the 1991 to 2006 period.

Figure 10 shows that in each five-year period from 1986 to 2006, Strong MIZ grew faster than Moderate MIZ which faster than Weak MIZ.

Figure 11 shows the increasing population in predominantly urban regions (to 15.9 million in 2006), in intermediate regions (to 6.3 million in 2006), in predominantly rural regions (to 9.4 million in 2006) which was due to growth in rural metro-adjacent regions (to 4.8 million in 2006) while rural non-metro-adjacent regions remained flat (at 3.9 million in 2006) and rural northern regions remained flat (at 627 thousand in 2006).

Figure 12 shows that in each period from 1991 to 2006, the predominantly rural regions grew but more slowly than predominantly urban or intermediate regions. Rural metro-adjacent regions grew in each period, but not rural non-metro-adjacent regions nor rural northern regions.

Figure 13 shows a declining share of Canada's total population in each type of predominantly rural region (down to 15% in rural metro-adjacent regions; down to 12% in rural non-metro-adjacent regions and down to 2% in rural northern regions).