The urban population of St. John’s was recorded as 178,427, while the metro population exceeds 200,000. The city is the most easterly city of North America. It has a long, interesting history dating back to when it was founded in 1497.
St. John’s Demographics
Data taken from the 2016 Canadian census show that there were over 4,000 minorities making up part of the population of this city. The largest minority group is from South Asia, accounting for 1.2% of the population. Chinese Canadians and Blacks are also part of the city’s visible minority groups. There are also over 4,300 Aborigines in the city, making up over 4% of the population.
The majority of the people in St. John’s are of English descent, making up 45.5% of the population. 41.1% of the population are of Canadian descent, 31.3% of Irish descent, 8.3% are of Scottish descent, 4.6% are of French descent, and 2.1% of German descent.
Over 96% of the population speaks English only. Less than 1% speak French or French and English, while 3.43% speak other languages.
Almost half of the population are Roman Catholic according to data from the 2011 census. Other religions include Anglican, United Church, and Pentecostal. Over 11% do not follow a religion.
St. John’s History
The city of St. John’s was founded in 1497. It is considered to be one of the oldest European settlements. The city was later established in 1583 under a royal charter of Queen Elizabeth I. However, it was not immediately settled. St. John’s was actually established as a permanent community in 1630. It was not permanently settled prior to this because of English law.
During the 17th century was when St. John’s began to see significant changes to its population. The population counts were even higher during the summer months when fisherman came to town to live and fish. Heading into the 18th century, St. John’s was attacked by the French and was captured in 1708. The town was surrendered to the British during the Seven Years’ War. It was the 18th century that brought about big changes in the city, including growing populations and the establishment of churches.
The harbor was used during World War II to support the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy. The Americans also set up an Army Air Force base at St. John’s.
In the 1990s, the city’s economy was impacted by the collapse of the cod fishery. Ten years passed with declines in population and high unemployment rates. However, the economy recovered because of the city’s location to several oil fields. The country contributes approximately half of the economic output of the province and has seen a boom in population and development.
St. John’s has seen a period of ups and downs throughout the years in terms of its population. Its proximity to the White Rose, Hibernia and Terra Nova oil fields have spurred the economy and led to a growing population that increased 2.5% between 2011 and 2016. Prior to that, the five-year period between 2006 and 2011 saw 5.5% growth following several years of population declines in the 1990s and early 2000s. Because the city is now more prosperous, the population is only expected to get higher and is estimated to exceed 115,000 by the year 2031.