Illustrated Glossary
Population centre (POPCTR)


A population centre (POPCTR) has a population of at least 1,000 and a population density of 400 persons or more per square kilometre, based on population counts from the current Census of Population. All areas outside population centres are classified as rural areas. Taken together, population centres and rural areas cover all of Canada.
Population centres are classified into three groups, depending on the size of their population:

Image for definition map

For the 2016 Census, population centres (POPCTR) were rebased using a revised set of criteria. This rebase allowed the addition of new delineation thresholds, the inclusion of new data sets, and removal of certain constraints limiting spatial overlap with other administrative geographies.

For more information on population centre, consult the Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021.

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