Canada's urbanization is continuing. In 2001, 79.4 per cent of Canadians lived in an urban centre of 10,000 people or more, compared with 78.5 per cent in 1996. Outside the urban centres, the population of rural and small-town areas declined by 0.4 per cent.
In 2001, just over 64 per cent of the Canada's population, or about 19,297,000 people, lived in the 27 metropolitan areas (figures for which are shown below: they correspond with wider agglomerations, not the cities proper, the numbers for which are given in the CityMayors list of the 300 largest cities in the world), up slightly from 63 per cent in 1996. Seven of these 27 areas saw their populations grow at a rate of at least double the national average. The strongest rise, by far, occurred in Calgary.
From 1996 to 2001, Canada's population concentrated further in four broad urban regions: the extended Golden Horseshoe in southern Ontario; Montréal and environs; British Columbia's Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island; and the Calgary-Edmonton corridor. In 2001, 51 per cent of Canada's population lived in these regions, compared with 49 per cent in 1996. Source: StatCan