Annual Demographic Estimates:
Subprovincial Areas, July 1, 2023

Demographic estimates for Canada’s subprovincial areas are available in Tables 17-10-0148-01 to 17-10-0155-01, which are listed and linked in the section Related products.

Click here for a full set of demographic estimates by subprovincial area, for years 2001 to 2023, according to the Standard Geographical Classification 2021.


Canada’s census metropolitan areas continued to see significant population growth in the 12 months leading to July 1, 2023, following the post-pandemic rebound they experienced a year prior. Gains in the number of non-permanent residents and new immigrants accounted for most of the annual growth.

Census metropolitan areas

  • Almost three quarters (74.4%) of all Canadians now lived in one of Canada’s census metropolitan areas (CMAs) on July 1, 2023. This proportion is up 0.4 percentage point in a single year as CMAs experienced significant annual growth (+3.5%).
  • The CMAs of Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (Ont.), Moncton (N.B.) and Calgary (Alb.) grew at the fastest rates from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023 (2022/2023) with +6.0%, +6.0% and +5.9%, respectively.
  • The CMAs of Thunder Bay (Ont.) (+1.4%) and Hamilton (Ont.) (+1.6%) grew at the slowest rate among CMAs over the last year. While slower than other CMAs this year, such growth rates would have placed them in the middle of the pack a decade ago.
  • Out of 41 CMAs, 33 saw their population grow at a faster rate in 2022/2023 than it did a year prior, with 31 seeing their fastest growth rate since at least 2001/2002—period for which comparable population figures are available.
  • More than half of the CMAs (22 out of 41) are estimated to have seen growth rate at or above 3.0% in the last year, with three growing by more than 5.0%.
  • Net international migration was the leading source of population growth in all but four CMAs in 2022/2023.
  • For a second year in a row, all CMAs in Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan saw net losses from people moving to other provinces in 2022/2023. Meanwhile, all CMAs in Alberta, except for Red Deer, recorded their highest net gains from other provinces since at least 2001/2002.
  • Migration trends within each provinces remained similar with the largest CMAs, namely Toronto (Ont.) (-93,024), Montréal (Que.) (-20,624), and Vancouver (B.C.) (-18,399), continuing to see significant net losses to exchanges with the rest of their respective provinces, mostly a consequence of urban spread.

Census agglomerations

  • In 2022/2023, 102 of the 111 census agglomerations (CAs) saw positive demographic growth, an increase from the proportion observed a year prior (91 out of 111 in 2021/2022).
  • In 2022/2023, the CA of Cape Breton, located in Northern Nova Scotia, experienced the highest growth (+6.4%), while Squamish (B.C.) (+5.5%) and Charlottetown (P.E.I.) (+4.7%) came in second and third place. While international migration was the leading cause of growth for Cape Breton and Charlottetown, gains from other parts of British Columbia explain most of the growth in Squamish.
  • The CA of Cobourg (Ont.) recorded the highest rate of decline in 2022/2023 at -0.5%, mainly due to the number of deaths being higher than births in the region. The CA of Fort St. John (B.C.) (-0.4%) came in second place with migration to other parts of British Columbia and to other provinces driving its decline.  

Census divisions

  • The census division (CD) of Cape Breton (N.S.), whose boundaries coincide with that of the CA of the same name, recorded the highest rate of population growth in 2022/2023 at +6.4%. It was followed by the CD of Westmorland (N.B.) (+5.9%) and Waterloo (Ont.) (+5.7%). International migration was the main driver of growth among those fastest growing CD, with migration from other provinces and parts of their respective provinces also playing a role.
  • The CDs showing the most pronounced population decline in 2022/2023 were that of Region 5 (N.W.T.) (-2.4%) and Division No. 11 (N.L.) (-2.0%). The decline is mostly driven by losses to internal migration within their respective province or territory, or with other provinces.

Census subdivisions

  • Among census subdivisions (CSDs) with a population of at least 5,000 (as of July 1, 2023), West St. Paul (Man.) (+10.1%), Banff (Alb.) (+10.0%), Whistler (B.C.) (+8.8%) and Chestermere (Alb.) (+7.8%) grew at the fastest pace in 2022/2023. In general, the fastest-growing CSDs are often found in the periphery of CMAs.
  • Six of the 25 fastest growing CSDs with a population of at least 5,000 are in the Atlantic provinces, up from four a year prior.
  • CSDs with the highest rates of population decrease continue to be found mostly in remote regions and smaller urban regions. Among CSDs with a population of at least 5,000, Meadow Lake (Sask.) (-1.7%) saw its population decrease at the fastest rate in 2022/2023.  

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