Canada Area and Population Density
As you can see from the map in the section further down on the page, the majority of Canadians live in a narrow Southern belt along the border with the United States. There are two main reasons for this.
The first is that the most hospitable part of Canadian territory is in the south. Summers are warm and winters are not too harsh, making the area suitable for agriculture. The second reason is the majority of Canada's trade (both import and export) is with its US neighbor, and it makes sense for the majority of Canadians to live as close to the US border as possible.
Canada as a whole has a population density of just 4 people per square kilometers, which makes it the 228th most densely populated country. The population density is among the lowest in the world, mostly because a great deal of the country to the north is virtually uninhabited. Toronto, meanwhile, is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with a density of 2,930 people per square kilometer.
Largest Cities in Canada
The largest city in Canada by population is Toronto, home to 2,615,060 people at the time of the 2011 census, and 2,731,571 in 2016. The wider Toronto metropolitan area is over twice as populous, containing around 6 million people in total.
Canada's second largest city is Montreal in Quebec, where 1,704,694 people live (up from 1,649,519 in 2011), followed in third place by Calgary in Alberta with 1,239,220 (up from 1,096,833). Calgary is growing at almost twice the Canadian average, so if current trends continue it will no doubt overtake Montreal in the future. Ottawa is Canada's fourth largest city – 934,243.
The fastest growing large city between 2006 and 2011 was Brampton, Ontario. In the 5 year period, the city grew by nearly 21% en route to surpassing 500,000 residents. Montreal is the slowest growing major city in Canada, with a growth of just 1.8% from 2006 to 2011. By comparison, Canada as a whole grew by 5.9% during the 5 year period.
In 2016, the fastest growing large city was Edmonton, which grew by 14.8% between the 2011 and 2016 censuses. Brampton continued its climb upward, adding 13.3%, and Calgary also grew by over 13%.
The census results also show the population of each Canadian province and territory. More than half of Canadians live in just two provinces: Ontario, where one in three Canadians live, and Quebec where almost a quarter of Canadians live. The combined population of Canada's three territories (Northwest, Yukon and Nunavut) is less than the population of Canada's smallest province (Prince Edward Island).