2006 CENSUS HIGHLIGHTS: Factsheet 3

Population Counts: Census Subdivisions (CSDs) in Ontario

Bar graph: Ontario's 25 Most Populous Census Subdivisions: Share of Population, 2006 Census.

Two-Thirds of Ontarians Live in the 25 Largest
Census Subdivisions

  • There are 585 Census Subdivisions (CSDs) in Ontario. These geographical areas correspond to municipalities, Indian reserves or unorganized territories treated as municipal equivalents.
  • According to the 2006 Census, 67 per cent of Ontario’s population lives in the province’s 25 most populous Census Subdivisions.
  • The 25 largest CSDs in Ontario as a group grew 7.2 per cent between 2001 and 2006, accounting for about three-quarters of provincial growth over this period.
  • Five of the 10 most populous CSDs are located in the GTA (Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and Vaughan). Combined, these five GTA CSDs are home to about one-third of Ontario’s population and accounted for 39 per cent of provincial growth between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses.
  • Completing the top 10 are the CSDs of Ottawa, Hamilton, Windsor, London and Kitchener.
Bar graph: Top 25 Ontario Census Subdivisions by Share of Provincial Growth, 2001 to 2006

One in Five Ontarians Live in the City of Toronto

  • The Toronto CSD remains the most populous in the province, accounting for 21 per cent of Ontario’s population. However, the city recorded growth of only 0.9 per cent between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, accounting for just 2.9 per cent of provincial population growth.
  • The second-largest CSD is Ottawa, home to 6.7
    per cent of Ontario’s population in 2006. The city grew 4.9 per cent over the 2001-2006 period and accounted for 5.1 per cent of Ontario’s population growth.
  • Mississauga is the third-largest CSD. The city grew 9.1 per cent from 2001 to 2006 and accounted for 7.4
    per cent of total population growth in the province.
  • Brampton, the fifth-largest CSD in Ontario, accounted for 14.4 per cent of all growth in the province over this period, the most of any CSD. Vaughan accounted for the second-highest share of growth, with 7.6 per cent.
Bar graph: 10 Fastest-Growing Large Census Subdivisions with Population of 25,000 and Over

Seven out of 10 CSDs Growing*

  • Between 2001 and 2006, 356 of Ontario’s 585 CSDs experienced population growth, while 178 saw population decline. Population remained the same in three CSDs, and 48 were not enumerated in either 2001 or 2006 (mostly Indian reserves).
  • Of the 356 CSDs that grew over the period, 166 saw their population increase faster than the provincial average of 6.6 per cent.

CSDs with Population of More Than 25,000**

  • There were 59 Ontario CSDs with population greater than 25,000 in 2001, and 61 in 2006. As a group, CSDs of this size grew 7.3 per cent over the 2001-06 period, faster than the provincial average.
  • Milton had the highest growth rate (71.4%), followed by Brampton (33.3%) and Vaughan (31.2%).
  • The CSDs of Thunder Bay (0.1%), Sault Ste. Marie (0.5%), Cornwall (0.7%) and Sarnia (0.8%) grew most slowly within this group.
  • Timmins was the only larger CSD with a declining population over the period (-1.6%).
Bar Graph: 10 Fastest-Growing Medium-sized Census Subdivisions with Population of 10,000 to 24,999

CSDs with Population between 10,000 and 24,999

  • CSDs with population of 10,000 to 24,999 grew 4.5 per cent as a group between 2001 and 2006. There were 82 CSDs in this category in both 2001 and 2006.
  • Within this group, 71 CSDs experienced population growth and 11 saw decline.
  • Wasaga Beach had the highest growth rate (21%) over the period among CSDs of this population size, followed by Wilmot (15%) and Bracebridge (13.8%).
  • The largest declines occurred in Kenora (-4.2%), Elliot Lake (-3.4%), Trent Hills (-2.6%) and South Dundas      (-2.3%).

CSDs with Population of Less than 10,000

  • The vast majority of Ontario CSDs have population of less than 10,000 (412 out of 585 in 2006), accounting for 8.5 per cent of total provincial population.
  • Enumeration issues on Indian reserves and very sparsely populated areas affect the reliability of Census count comparisons for this group.



Note: The most appropriate 2006 population figures for Ontario and the rest of Canada are the current postcensal population estimates rather than the 2006 Census counts. See Fact Sheet 1 for notes on Census counts and net undercoverage and the reason why this factsheet looks largely at shares and growth rates between the 2001 and 2006
Censuses rather than population levels.

* Only CSDs that were enumerated in both 2001 and 2006 are
   included in the growth calculations.
** CSDs are categorized according to 2001 Census Population.

Contact Victor Caballero (416) 325-0825 / Alex Munger (416) 325-0102.

Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch

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