2011 CENSUS HIGHLIGHTS: Factsheet 2

Population Counts: Census Subdivisions (CSDs) in Ontario

Ontario's 25 Most Populous CSDs: Share of Provincial Population, 2011 Census

Over Two-Thirds of Ontarians Live in the 25 Most Populous Census Subdivisions

  • There are 574 Census Subdivisions (CSDs) in Ontario. These geographical areas correspond to municipalities, Indian reserves or unorganized territories treated as municipal equivalents.
  • According to the 2011 Census, 67.5 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 6.9 per cent between 2006 and 2011, accounting for 80.9 per cent of total provincial growth over this period.
  • Five of the 10 most populous CSDs are located in the Greater Toronto Area (Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham and Vaughan). Combined, these five GTA CSDs are home to 34.6 per cent of Ontario’s population and accounted for almost half of provincial growth between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses.
  • Completing the top 10 are the CSDs of Ottawa, Hamilton, London, Kitchener and Windsor.
Top 25 Ontario CSD's by Share of Provincial Growth, 2006 to 2011

One in Five Ontarians Live in the City of Toronto

  • The Toronto CSD remains the most populous in the province, and is home to one in five Ontarians. The municipality recorded growth of 4.5 per cent between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses, accounting for 16.2 per cent of provincial population growth, the most of any CSD.
  • The second-largest CSD is Ottawa, home to 6.9 per cent of Ontario’s population in 2011. The city grew 8.8 per cent over the 2006-11 period and accounted for 10.3 per cent of Ontario’s population growth.
  • Mississauga is the third-largest CSD. The city grew 6.7 per cent from 2006 to 2011 and accounted for 6.5 per cent of total population growth in the province.
  • Brampton, the fourth-largest CSD in Ontario, grew by 20.8 per cent and accounted for 13.0 per cent of all growth in the province over this period, the second largest growth contributor after Toronto.

Note: The most appropriate 2011 population figures for Ontario and the rest of Canada are the current postcensal population estimates rather than the 2011 Census counts. See Fact Sheet 1 for notes on Census counts and net undercoverage and the reason why this fact sheet looks largely at shares and growth rates between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses rather than population levels.

About half of Ontario’s CSDs Are Growing*

10 Fastest-Growing Large CSDs (with 2006 Population of 25,000 and Over)
  • Between 2006 and 2011, 293 of Ontario’s 574 CSDs experienced population growth, while 243 saw population decline. Population was unchanged in 12 CSDs, and 26 were not enumerated in either 2006 or 2011 (mostly Indian reserves).

CSDs with Population of More Than 25,000**

  • There were 61 Ontario CSDs with population greater than 25,000 in 2006, and 64 in 2011. As a group, CSDs of this size grew 6.5 per cent over the 2006-11 period, faster than the provincial average.
  • Milton had by far the highest growth rate (56.5%), followed by Ajax (21.6%) and Brampton (20.8%).
  • Nine CSD within this group experienced population decline between 2006 and 2011.
  • Chatham-Kent (-4.2%), Windsor (-2.6%), Kawartha Lakes (-1.8%), Leamington (-1.5%) and Prince Edward County (-0.9%) saw population declines.
10 Fastest-Growing Medium-sized CSD's (with 2006 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 4.1 per cent as a group between 2006 and 2011. There were 82 CSDs in this category in 2006 and 79 in 2011.
  • Within this group, 55 CSDs experienced population growth and 27 saw declines.
  • Whitchurch-Stouffville had by far the highest growth rate (54.3%) within this group, followed by Woolwich (17.7%) and Bradford West Gwillimbury (16.8%).
  • The largest declines occurred in Brock (-5.3%), Elizabethtown-Kitley (-4.7%), Lambton Shores (-4.4%), North Glengarry (-3.6%) and Erin (-3.4%).

CSDs with Population of Less than 10,000

    • The vast majority of Ontario CSDs have population of less than 10,000 (411 out of 574 in 2011), accounting for 7.9 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.

    * Only CSDs that were enumerated in both 2006 and 2011 are included in the growth calculations.

    ** CSDs are categorized according to 2006 Census Population.

    Contact Alex Munger (416) 325-0102.

    Office of Economic Policy Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch