Moncton is located in southeastern New Brunswick, Canada in the Petitcodiac River Valley. The Moncton CMA -- which includes Dieppe city (23,000 population), the town of Riverview (19,000), and suburbs in Albert and Westmorland counties -- has a population estimated at 140,000, which makes it New Brunswick's largest CMA and the second-largest in the Maritime Provinces of Canada.
The 2016 Canadian Census profile shows Moncton's population at 71,889 and 149,623 in Westmorland County.
City Size and Population Density
The city of Moncton covers a total surface area of 141.17 square kilometers (54.51 square miles). The population density comes to approximately 489.3 people living per square kilometer (1,267.3 residents per square mile).
Moncton is a fairly racially homogeneous city with most people claiming northwestern European ancestry. Most migration into Moncton comes from surrounding areas in New Brunswick as well as Nova Scotia and Ontario.
Aboriginal people account for just over 4.3% of Moncton's population. There are 3,300 people who belong to a visible minority in Moncton, the largest of which are blacks (1.7%) and South Asians (0.7%).
While English is the most common language spoken in Moncton, the French-speaking Acadian community accounts for 32%. English is the first language for 65% of Monctonians followed by French at 32%. Almost half of the city's population is bilingual and speaks French and English. The is the highest proportion of linguistic duality among all Canadian cities aside from Ottawa, Montreal, and Sudbury. It also became Canada's first officially bilingual city in 2002.
Moncton was officially founded in 1766 when Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants, led by a Captain John Hall, arrived in the area. The city was first an agriculture settlement but a large wood cutting and shipbuilding industry grew by the 1840s. This led to significant growth and incorporation in 1855. One building of note remains from this era - The "Treitz Haus" By the 1860s, the shipbuilding economy collapsed and Moncton lost its civic charter.
However, the steam power that had destroyed the wooden ship business was the very thing that Moncton needed to rebuild. The city regained its charter just over a decade later in the 1870s once its economy began to reobound due to the new headquarters of a steam powered train and railway industry that was brought to the area. The Intercolonial Railway of Canada would be just what the town needed. It would be able to reincorporate as a town in 1875 with the motto "Resurgo" (I rise again).
Moncton was a railroad town for more than 100 years until the Canadian National Railway shops closed in the 1980s, leading to a second economic collapse. Within the next decade, the city diversified and found a calling in information technology and bilingual call centers which allowed the overall technology growth to boost the city back to health.
Despite this rough and colorful history, Moncton has rebounded strongly and its unemployment rate is consistently below the national average.
Moncton Population Growth
Between 2006 and 2011, the Moncton CMA grew by 8.7%, which is the fastest growth rate among all metro areas in Atlantic Canada. According to the most recent 2011 census, Moncton's CMA population growth has outpaced the national rate for the last 5 years. The census found that Moncton ranked 29 among the 33 census metropolitan areas in terms of growth. Canada as a whole is the fastest-growing of G8 countries over the last 5 years, with a 5.9% annual growth rate that beats the United States (4.4%), the U.K. (3.5%), and Italy (3.2%).