Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Definition of Census metropolitan area and non-Census metropolitan area

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Urban Census metropolitan area (CMA) is an area consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a major urban core. A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. Urban non-Census metropolitan areas (non-CMAs) are smaller urban areas with a population of less than 100,000. Rural areas include all territory lying outside of urban areas, excluding Indian reserves. They include remote and wilderness areas, agricultural lands, as well as small towns, villages and other populated places with a population of less than 1,000 and a density of less than 400 persons per square kilometre.