Saskatoon is a major city in the central region of Saskatchewan, Canada. The city's name is a reference to the saskatoon berries that grow in the region. Saskatoon is the largest city in the province with a population of 246,376 as of 2016.
City Size and Population Density
Saskatoon has an urban population of 257,000 with a population density of 1,060 people per square kilometer (2,756/square mile), although the larger metropolitan area has a population of about 295,000. The city of Saskatoon covers a total surface area of 228.13 kilometers squared (88.08 square miles).
According to the 2016 census, almost 83% of Saskatonians are European, followed by 5% First Nations and 4% Metis. Other ancestry and ethnic groups in the city include Chinese (2%), South Asian (1%), Filipino (1%), Black (1%), Latin American (0.5%), and Southeast Asian (0.5%). The racial composition is 85% white Canadian, 8.9% Aboriginals, and less than 5% some other visible ethnic minority.
The Saskatoon region was first inhabited by Aboriginal people. Canada's First Nations people have had a growing presence in the area, with a population that grew by 382% between 1981 and 2001 in the city. Much of this growth, however, is attributed to more people identifying as Aboriginal. Saskatoon has the second-highest percentage of First Nations peoples among major cities in the country at 9%.
Almost 79% of Saskatonians are Christian, most of which are Protestant (40%) or Roman Catholic (32%). Nearly 20% of people in the city have no religious affiliation. Other religions in Saskatoon include Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism.
The Saskatoon metropolitan area has Canada's youngest median age at just 34.6 years, far below the country's median age of 40.4 years old.
Saskatoon has the highest violent crime rate in Canada, although crime rates are dropping. New research also indicates that the province has Canada's highest rate of new HIV cases with one-quarter of HIV-infected babies born in the region. This is attributed to the growing problems of gangs, poverty, prostitution, and drug use in Saskatoon.
Saskatoon Population Growth
According to a 2008 study, the population of Saskatoon fell slightly after the 2006 census as more people left the city for the suburbs and nearby Alberta. The city managed to reverse this trend. In 2015, Saskatoon was growing at three times the national rate. The Saskatoon metropolitan area grew by 9,600 people in 2014, or 3.2% in a year, while Canada grew by just 1.1%.
More than half of the growth is due to immigration. Saskatoon had the country's second-highest immigration rate at 1.8%.