Safe Cities profile series: Key indicators by census metropolitan area
Ottawa, Ontario

Release date: May 15, 2020
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Satisfaction with safety

Ottawa 89%, Ontario 89%, Canada 88%

proportion of people who reported being satisfied with their personal safety from crime in 2014

* significantly different from Ottawa (p < 0.05)

Police-reported violent crime rate in 2018

Ottawa 764, Ontario 899, Canada 1,143

rate per 100,000 population

Ten-year change in police-reported crime rate (2008 to 2018)

Ottawa -18%, Ontario -16%, Canada, -17%

Population and demographics

Map showing the location of Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa was home to 1,074,524 people in 2018, and it had a population density of 295 residents per square kilometre. Three in ten (30%) residents were aged 24 and younger, on par with the distribution in Ontario (29%) and across Canada (28%).

About 2.6% of Ottawa residents were part of the Indigenous population (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) in 2016, similar to Ontario (2.8%) but lower than Canada (4.9%). Immigrants represented just under one in four (23%) residents, lower than Ontario (29%) but similar to Canada (22%). One in seven (14%) immigrants in Ottawa were recent immigrants (since 2011), in between Ontario (12%) and Canada (16%). One in four (25%) Ottawa residents identified as a visible minority, somewhat lower than in Ontario (29%) but slightly higher than the proportion in Canada overall (22%).

Education, employment and income

In 2016, three in four (73.9%) Ottawa residents aged 25 to 64 had completed some form of postsecondary education, one in five (19.7%) had completed high school (or equivalent) as their highest level of education, and less than one in ten (6.4%) had completed neither.

In 2018, the unemployment rate in Ottawa (4.6%) was lower than in Ontario (5.6%) and Canada’s provinces (5.8%). Households in Ottawa earned a median after-tax annual income of $64,670 in 2017, notably higher than in Ontario ($53,850) and Canada ($52,090). The percentage of families considered low-income was slightly lower in Ottawa (14%) than in Ontario (17%) and Canada (17%).

Housing and families

On average, there were 2.5 persons per household in Ottawa in 2016, similar to Ontario (2.6) and Canada (2.4). Most (67%) households in Ottawa owned their homes, similar to Ontario (70%) and Canada (68%). When a household spends 30% or more of its income on shelter costs, it is considered to live in unaffordable housing: this was the case for one in four (24%) Ottawa households, slightly lower than in Ontario (28%) but the same as Canada (24%). A small proportion (5.4%) of occupied private dwellings in Ottawa were in need of major repairs, just under Ontario (6.1%) and Canada (6.5%). About one-sixth (16%) of Ottawa families were lone-parent families, on par with Ontario (17%) and Canada (16%). In 2017, there were an estimated 7,530 homeless individuals and families living in Ottawa.

Community safety and sense of belonging

Self-reported experiences of victimization

Police-reported crime

  • In 2018, Ottawa police reported an overall crime rate of 3,898 incidents per 100,000 population, 5% lower than in Ontario (4,113) and 29% lower than in Canada (5,488).
  • Over the past decade (2008 to 2018), police-reported crime declined by 18% in Ottawa, similar to the decline seen in Ontario (-16%) and Canada (-17%).
  • The severity of crime in Ottawa increased by 7% between 2017 and 2018, mostly due to an increase in breaking and entering, sexual assault (level 1), fraud and theft of $5,000 or under (non-shoplifting). Over the past decade (2008 to 2018), the severity of crime in Ottawa declined by 20%, compared with a 15% decline in Ontario and a 17% decline in Canada.

Property crime

Violent crime

  • In 2018, there were 764 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 population reported by police in Ottawa, 15% lower than Ontario (899) and 33% lower than Canada overall (1,143).
    • In Ottawa, Ontario and Canada, 53% of victims of violent crime were female.
  • Between 2008 and 2018:
    • The violent crime rate in Ottawa declined by 2%, far smaller than the decline seen in Ontario (-14%) and Canada (-14%).
    • The severity of violent crime in Ottawa declined by 7%, a smaller decline than in Ontario (-11%) and Canada (-13%).
  • Violent crime against girls and women in Ottawa increased by 8% between 2009 and 2018 while violent crime against boys and men declined by 17%.

Hate crime

Intimate partner violence

Homicide

Charts and tables

Chart 1 start

Chart 1 Police-reported violent and non-violent Crime Severity Indexes, census metropolitan area of Hamilton, Ontario and Canada, 1998 to 2018

Data table for Chart 1 
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Violent Crime Severity Index, Non-violent Crime Severity Index, Ottawa, Ontario and Canada, calculated using index units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Violent Crime Severity Index Non-violent Crime Severity Index
Ottawa Ontario Canada Ottawa Ontario Canada
index
1998 101 85 98 119 107 127
1999 84 83 99 99 96 116
2000 80 85 98 85 91 110
2001 86 85 97 84 87 108
2002 82 82 96 88 85 107
2003 87 81 98 89 84 110
2004 78 79 96 81 78 107
2005 78 83 99 84 74 102
2006 81 87 100 81 75 100
2007 76 86 98 75 70 94
2008 73 82 95 67 67 89
2009 78 82 94 62 64 85
2010 68 78 89 57 61 81
2011 62 73 86 56 57 75
2012 58 70 82 58 55 73
2013 56 62 74 46 49 67
2014 50 58 71 43 47 65
2015 54 60 75 44 48 68
2016 63 65 77 46 49 70
2017 64 70 81 46 51 71
2018 68 73 82 50 55 72

Chart 1 end

Chart 2 start

Chart 2 Police-reported violent crime, by sex of victim, census metropolitan area of Hamilton, Ontario and Canada, 2009 to 2018

Data table for Chart 2 
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Female victims, Male victims, Ottawa, Ontario and Canada, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Female victims Male victims
Ottawa Ontario Canada Ottawa Ontario Canada
rate per 100,000 population
2009 666 937 1,206 787 940 1,202
2010 615 917 1,209 673 913 1,162
2011 548 872 1,124 639 859 1,087
2012 538 824 1,079 628 809 1,048
2013 623 771 1,004 624 726 947
2014 585 721 952 526 675 898
2015 574 729 970 526 687 914
2016 567 741 978 532 708 910
2017 668 790 1,019 617 739 926
2018 722 834 1,048 653 766 936

Chart 2 end

Chart 3 start

Chart 3 Police-reported property crime, census metropolitan area of Hamilton, Ontario and Canada, 2009 to 2018

Data table for Chart 3 
Data table for Chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Ottawa, Ontario and Canada, calculated using rate per 100,000 population units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Ottawa Ontario Canada
rate per 100,000 population
2009 3,365 3,193 4,122
2010 3,026 2,968 3,838
2011 2,951 2,760 3,536
2012 2,945 2,648 3,438
2013 2,451 2,365 3,154
2014 2,365 2,281 3,100
2015 2,281 2,290 3,231
2016 2,367 2,315 3,239
2017 2,305 2,428 3,266
2018 2,566 2,621 3,339

Chart 3 end

Table 1 start


Table 1
Police-reported crime rate for selected offences, census metropolitan area of Ottawa, Ontario and Canada, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Police-reported crime rate for selected offences. The information is grouped by Type of offence (appearing as row headers), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Percent difference between Ottawa and Ontario and Percent difference between Ottawa and Canada, calculated using rate units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence Ottawa Ontario Canada Percent difference between Ottawa and Ontario Percent difference between Ottawa and Canada
rate
Total crime (excluding traffic) 3,898 4,113 5,488 -5 -29
Total violent crime 764 899 1,143 -15 -33
Violations causing death and attempted murder 3 5 4 -29 -21
Sexual assault and sexual violations against childrenTable 1 Note 1 87 91 101 -4 -14
AssaultsTable 1 Note 2 390 500 649 -22 -40
Other violent offences 283 303 389 -7 -27
Total property crime 2,566 2,621 3,339 -2 -23
Breaking and entering 271 319 431 -15 -37
TheftTable 1 Note 3 1,496 1,506 1,720 -0.7 -13
Fraud 442 381 402 16 10
MischiefTable 1 Note 4 341 372 699 -8 -51
Other property crime offences 17 43 86 -61 -81
Total other Criminal Code offences 568 593 1,006 -4 -44
Total Criminal Code traffic offences 98 199 339 -51 -71
Total alcohol-impaired drivingTable 1 Note 5 70 92 178 -24 -61
Total drug-impaired drivingTable 1 Note 6 4 6 12 -33 -65
Alcohol and drug-impaired drivingTable 1 Note 7 0.4 0.6 0.7 -33 -45
Impaired driving (not specified)Table 1 Note 7 0 0.4 0.3 -100 -100
Other Criminal Code traffic offences 23 99 148 -77 -84
Total drug offences 83 146 225 -43 -63
Total other federal statute offences 30 29 70 4 -57
Total all offences 4,109 4,487 6,123 -8 -33

Table 1 end

Table 2 start


Table 2
Police-reported violent crime rate for selected offences, by sex of victim, census metropolitan area of Ottawa, Ontario and Canada, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Police-reported violent crime rate for selected offences. The information is grouped by Type of offence (appearing as row headers), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Female victims and Male victims, calculated using rate units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence Ottawa Ontario Canada
Female victims Male victims Female victims Male victims Female victims Male victims
rate
Total violent crime 722 653 834 766 1,048 936
Violations causing death and attempted murder 1 5 3 7 2 6
Homicide 0.6 3 1 3 0.9 3
Other violations causing deathTable 2 Note 1 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.3
Attempted murder 0.7 2 1 4 1 3
Sexual offences 149 21 152 22 170 23
Sexual assault 135 19 130 17 134 16
Sexual assault – level 3 – aggravated 0.4 0 0.4 0.1 0.7 0.1
Sexual assault – level 2 – weapon or bodily harm 1 0 2 0.5 2 0.4
Sexual assault – level 1 134 19 128 17 131 16
Sexual violations against childrenTable 2 Note 2 13 2 22 5 36 7
Assaults 368 412 467 510 613 644
Physical assault 356 365 456 463 599 590
Assault – level 3 – aggravated 4 7 4 10 6 13
Assault – level 2 – weapon or bodily harm 67 105 83 126 111 173
Assault – level 1 284 253 369 327 483 404
Assault against a peace officer 6 36 7 37 10 48
Other assaults 6 12 4 10 4 7
Other violent offences 204 214 213 227 263 262
Firearms – use of, discharge, pointing 3 9 2 6 2 6
Robbery 24 82 27 83 31 75
Forcible confinement or kidnapping 9 2 12 2 15 3
Trafficking in personsTable 2 Note 3 6 0 2 0sNote: value rounded to 0 (zero) where there is a meaningful distinction between true zero and the value that was rounded. A “0” represents a true zero value. 1 0sNote: value rounded to 0 (zero) where there is a meaningful distinction between true zero and the value that was rounded. A “0” represents a true zero value.
Extortion 3 0.4 4 7 6 9
Criminal harassment 27 4 52 16 53 17
Uttering threats 70 91 85 102 114 134
Indecent or harassing communications 49 21 16 8 22 9
Non-consensual distribution of intimate images 8 2 5 0.8 7 1
Commodification of sexual activityTable 2 Note 4 0.4 0.2 0.6 0sNote: value rounded to 0 (zero) where there is a meaningful distinction between true zero and the value that was rounded. A “0” represents a true zero value. 1 0.1
Other violent offences 6 3 6 3 10 8
Total traffic offences 2 2 2 3 16 21
Traffic violations causing death 0 0.2 0.3 0.7 0.4 0.9
Traffic violations causing bodily harm 2 2 2 3 6 7
Traffic violations – injury unspecified or unknownTable 2 Note 5 0 0 0.1 0 9 12

Table 2 end

Table 3 start


Table 3
Police-reported crime for selected offences, census metropolitan area of Ottawa, Ontario and Canada, 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Police-reported crime for selected offences. The information is grouped by Type of offence (appearing as row headers), Ottawa, Ontario and Canada, calculated using number and rate units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Type of offence Ottawa Ontario Canada
number rate number rate number rate
Total non-violent crime 35,748 3,345 513,941 3,588 1,845,269 4,979
Total property crime 27,421 2,566 375,402 2,621 1,237,324 3,339
Breaking and entering 2,891 271 45,736 319 159,812 431
Possess stolen propertyTable 3 Note 1 105 10 4,854 34 23,898 64
Theft of motor vehicle 988 92 23,952 167 86,132 232
Theft over $5,000 (non-motor vehicle) 481 45 5,887 41 20,113 54
Theft of $5,000 or under (non-motor vehicle) 14,516 1,358 185,837 1,297 531,312 1,434
Fraud 4,134 387 49,193 343 129,409 349
Identity theft 17 2 426 3 3,745 10
Identity fraud 574 54 4,907 34 15,839 43
MischiefTable 3 Note 2 3,641 341 53,236 372 259,064 699
Arson 74 7 1,374 10 8,000 22
Total other offences 6,070 568 84,959 593 372,834 1,006
Weapons violations 259 24 4,415 31 16,610 45
Child pornographyTable 3 Note 3 104 10 1,669 12 5,843 16
ProstitutionTable 3 Note 4 0 0 29 0.2 110 0.3
Terrorism 39 4 58 0.4 102 0.3
Disturb the peace 109 10 5,075 35 94,378 255
Administration of justice offences 5,048 472 66,876 467 226,864 612
Other offences 511 48 6,837 48 28,927 78
Total Criminal Code traffic offences 1,043 98 28,446 199 125,544 339
Total alcohol-impaired drivingTable 3 Note 5 747 70 13,216 92 65,820 178
Total drug-impaired drivingTable 3 Note 6 45 4 894 6 4,429 12
Alcohol and drug-impaired drivingTable 3 Note 7 4 0.4 80 0.6 250 0.7
Impaired driving (not specified)Table 3 Note 7 0 0 55 0.4 94 0.3
Other Criminal Code traffic offences 247 23 14,201 99 54,951 148
Total drug offences 889 83 20,937 146 83,483 225
Total other federal statute offences 325 30 4,197 29 26,084 70
Human traffickingTable 3 Note 8 2 0.2 94 0.7 112 0.3
Youth Criminal Justice Act 16 1 1,076 8 4,823 13
Other federal statute offences 307 29 3,027 21 21,149 57

Table 3 end

Table 4 start


Table 4
Police-reported crime rate, census metropolitan area of Ottawa, 2008 to 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Police-reported crime rate. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Violent crime, Property crime and Total crime, calculated using number, rate and percent change in rate from previous year units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Violent crime Property crime Total crime
number rate percent change in rate from previous year number rate percent change in rate from previous year number rate percent change in rate from previous year
2008 7,139 779 -11 32,005 3,490 -12 43,460 4,739 -11
2009 7,119 766 -2 31,254 3,365 -4 42,115 4,534 -4
2010 6,624 706 -8 28,377 3,026 -10 40,005 4,266 -6
2011 6,234 655 -7 28,074 2,951 -2 39,117 4,112 -4
2012 6,197 644 -2 28,330 2,945 -0.2 39,561 4,113 0sNote: value rounded to 0 (zero) where there is a meaningful distinction between true zero and the value that was rounded. A “0” represents a true zero value.
2013 6,612 681 6 23,811 2,451 -17 34,631 3,565 -13
2014 6,169 629 -8 23,199 2,365 -4 33,643 3,430 -4
2015 6,148 621 -1 22,573 2,281 -4 33,126 3,347 -2
2016 6,310 616 -0.8 24,229 2,367 4 35,673 3,485 4
2017 7,495 718 16 24,072 2,305 -3 37,131 3,556 2
2018 8,162 764 6 27,421 2,566 11 41,653 3,898 10
Percent change from 2008 to 2018 14 -2 Note ...: not applicable -14 -26 Note ...: not applicable -4 -18 Note ...: not applicable

Table 4 end

E use with caution

Note: This fact sheet contains data that come from multiple sources across multiple reference years. Some figures may be presented differently than in other Statistics Canada publications due to rounding. For detailed information on data definitions and sources, please refer to the Safe Cities profile series: Definitions and data sources document.

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