14,733,119
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Ontario Population 2021

Ontario is one of 10 provinces of Canada and located in the east-central region of the county. Ontario is the most populous province of Canada with almost 40% of the country's population and the second-largest in terms of land area, or the 4th largest in area when the territories of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are included. Ontario is also home to Canada's capital, Ottawa, and Toronto, the most populous city.

It is bordered by the province Manitoba to the west, Quebec to the east, James Bay and Hudson Bay to the north and the U.S. states Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Minnesota to the south. The province shares a 2,700 kilometer (1,678 mile) border with the United States.

Ontario has an estimated population of 13.6 million living in a total area of 1,076,395 square kilometers, or more than 415,000 square miles. This gives Ontario a population density of 14 people per square kilometer, or 36 individuals per square mile. Ontario is often divided into two regions: Southern Ontario and Northern Ontario. Most of the population and the arable land is in the south, along with the city of Toronto. The larger northern part of the province is very sparsely inhabited. The most populous city, Toronto, has a population density of 10,750 people per square mile, or 4,149 per square kilometer.

Ontario Demographics

Most Ontarians are of English or European descent, which large populations of Italian, Irish and Scottish. Under 5% of the population is Franco-Ontarian, while those of French ancestry make up 11% of the population. Almost 26% of the province's population belongs to a visible minority group while 2.4% is Aboriginal, most of whom are of Metis and First Nations descent. There are also some Inuit people residing in the area.

Ontario has a percentage of foreign-born people that is much higher than the national average: in 2006, 28.3% of the population was foreign-born, compared to the Canadaian average of 19.8%.

At the 2011 census, the racial and ethnic composition of Ontario was 71.7% white, 25.9% visible minority groups and 2.4% Aboriginal groups (1.6% First Nations, 0.7% Metis, 0.1% other Aboriginal). The visible minority groups include:

  • South Asian: 7.6%
  • Chinese: 5%
  • Black: 4.3%
  • Filipino: 2.2%
  • Latin American: 1.4%
  • Arab: 1.1%
  • Southeast Asian: 1.1%
  • West Asian: 1%
  • Korean: 0.6%
  • Japanese: 0.2%
  • Other: 0.6%
  • Multiple visible minorities: 0.8%

The largest religious denomination in the province is the Roman Catholic Church at 31.4%, followed by Protestant (21.1%), other Christian (9.7%), Muslim (4.6%), Hindu (2.9%), Christian Orthodox (2.4%), Jewish (1.5%), Sikh (1.4%) and Buddhist (1.3%). Just over 23% of the population claim no religious affiliation.

Ontario Population Growth

The 2011 census found the population of Ontario was 12.85 million, up 5.7% from the 2006 population of 12.16 million. Much of the province's growth is driven by immigration, as it has been for more than 200 years. Recent sources of immigrants are Caribbeans, Latin Americans, Asians, Africans and Europeans, many of whom have settled in urban areas. The Aboriginal population of Ontario has been growing much faster than Ontario as a whole.

Ontario does have a demographics problem as the population is aging quickly with more Ontarians moving into retirement faster than they are being replaced by new workers. In Alberta, the number of people turning 65 last year increased by 5%, but its working-age population grew 5x faster than that of Ontario's.

The number of immigrants moving to Ontario has also slowed. Ten years ago, 50% of all immigrants to the country moved to Ontario, a number that has dropped to just over 38% today.

Ontario History

Prior to European arrival in the 17th century, the area was inhabited by first nations people, mostly Iroquoian and Algonquian. The French were the first Europeans to explore the area in the early 1600s, starting a lucrative fur trade that drew the English to the area just a few years later. Settlement truly began when Loyalists moved north after the War of American Independence in 1779. English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the Hudson Bay in 1611, claiming the region for England.

French missionaries then began establishing posts in the areas, although settlement was hampered by hostility from the Iroquois, who allied with the British. The native population was also decimated by European disease such as measles from 1634 to 1640 with no natural immunity.

The British built trading posts along the Hudson Bay in the late 17th century. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 ended the Seven Years' War and awarded most of the North American possessions of France to Britain. In 1774, the region was annexed to Quebec. In 1791, Quebec was split into the Canadas: Upper Canada was southwest of the St. Lawrence-Ottawa River confluence while Lower Canada was to the east.

Upper Canada was invaded by the Americans in the War of 1812, although they were defeated. After the war, stability returned to the region and more immigrants from European arrived, particularly from Britain and Ireland. There was a boom in the 1850s with railroad expansion across the region and soon after Ontario became an official province of Canada.

Ontario Facts

  • 40% of Canada's population lives in Ontario.
  • Ontario is 3x larger than Germany and 15x larger than Ireland. The province's size is comparable to Texas and Montana combined.
  • Yonge Street in Ontario is the longest street in the world with a distance of more than 1,178 miles (1,896 kilometers).
  • The Thousand Island Railway in Ontario is the shortest railway in North American history at 3.32 miles.
  • Ontario is believed to mean "beautiful waters" in the original Iroquoian language.
  • Celebrities from Ontario include Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Shania Twain, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Matthew Perry and Ryan Gosling.
Date Population
2020 Q414,733,119
2020 Q314,734,014
2020 Q214,723,497
2020 Q114,689,075
2019 Q414,637,880
City 2016 Population 2011 Population
Toronto2,731,5702,615,060
Ottawa934,243883,391
Mississauga721,599713,443
Brampton593,638523,906
Hamilton536,917519,949
London383,822366,151
Markham328,966301,709
Vaughan306,233288,301
Kitchener233,222219,153
Windsor217,188210,891
Richmond Hill195,022185,541
Oakville193,832182,520
Burlington183,314175,779
Greater Sudbury161,531160,274
Oshawa159,458149,607
Barrie141,434136,063
St. Catharines133,113131,400
Guelph131,794121,688
Cambridge129,920126,748
Whitby128,377122,022
Kingston123,798123,363
Ajax119,677109,600
Milton110,12884,362
Thunder Bay107,909108,359
Waterloo104,98698,780
Chatham-Kent101,647103,671
Brantford97,49693,650
Clarington92,01384,548
Pickering91,77188,721
Niagara Falls88,07182,997
Newmarket84,22479,978
Peterborough81,03278,777
Kawartha Lakes75,42373,219
Sault Ste. Marie73,36875,141
Sarnia71,59472,366
Caledon66,50259,460
Norfolk County64,04463,175
Halton Hills61,16159,013
Aurora55,44553,203
Welland52,29350,631
North Bay51,55353,651
Belleville50,71649,454
Cornwall46,58946,340
Whitchurch-Stouffville45,83737,628
Haldimand County45,60844,876
Georgina45,41843,517
Quinte West43,57743,086
Timmins41,78843,165
Woodstock40,90237,754
St. Thomas38,90937,905
Brant36,70735,638
Lakeshore36,61134,546
Innisfil36,56632,727
Bradford West Gwillimbury35,32528,077
New Tecumseth34,24230,234
Stratford31,46530,903
Orillia31,16630,586
Fort Erie30,71029,960
LaSalle30,18028,643
Orangeville28,90027,975
Centre Wellington28,19126,693
Leamington27,59528,403
Grimsby27,31425,325
Woolwich25,00623,145
Prince Edward County24,73525,258
King24,51219,899
Clarence-Rockland24,51223,185
East Gwillimbury23,99122,473
Lincoln23,78722,487
Tecumseh23,22923,610
Amherstburg21,93621,556
Collingwood21,79319,241
Scugog21,61721,569
Kingsville21,55221,362
Brockville21,34621,870
Owen Sound21,34121,688
Uxbridge21,17620,623
Essa21,08318,505
Oro-Medonte21,03620,078
Strathroy-Caradoc20,86720,978
Wasaga Beach20,67517,537
Wilmot20,54519,223
Essex20,42719,600
Huntsville19,81619,056
Cobourg19,44018,519
Springwater19,05918,223
Thorold18,80117,931
South Frontenac18,64618,113
Port Colborne18,30618,424
Niagara-on-the-Lake17,51115,400
Middlesex Centre17,26216,487
Petawawa17,18715,988
Pelham17,11016,598
Selwyn17,06016,846
Loyalist16,97116,221
Midland16,86416,572
Port Hope16,75316,214
Russell16,52015,247
North Grenville16,45115,085
Bracebridge16,01015,414
Greater Napanee15,89215,511
Tillsonburg15,87215,301
Hanover15,73314,026
Kenora15,09615,348
West Lincoln14,50013,837
West Nipissing14,36414,149
Clearview14,15113,734
St. Clair14,08614,515
Pembroke13,88214,360
Saugeen Shores13,71512,661
Severn13,47712,377
Thames Centre13,19113,000
Mississippi Mills13,16312,385
South Glengarry13,15013,162
North Perth13,13012,631
South Stormont13,11012,617
Trent Hills12,90012,604
Guelph/Eramosa12,85412,380
The Nation12,80811,668
Ingersoll12,75712,146
Central Elgin12,60712,743
West Grey12,51812,286
Gravenhurst12,31112,055
Perth East12,26112,011
Wellington North11,91411,477
Brighton11,84410,928
Tiny11,78711,232
Brock11,64211,341
Erin11,43910,770
Kincardine11,38911,174
North Dundas11,27811,225
Wellesley11,26010,713
Norwich11,00110,721
Meaford10,99111,100
Adjala-Tosorontio10,97510,603
South Dundas10,83310,794
Elliot Lake10,74111,348
Carleton Place10,6449,809
Lambton Shores10,63110,656
Mapleton10,5279,989
Georgian Bluffs10,47910,404
Rideau Lakes10,32610,207
Hawkesbury10,26310,551
North Dumfries10,2159,334
North Glengarry10,10910,251
South Huron10,0969,945
Tay10,0339,736

Cities in Ontario