What is the population of Canada?

Canada’s population growth was historically influenced by several factors, among which territorial expansion, the presence of indigenous populations, and migration. Today, immigration is by far the most important factor determining the country’s population growth.

As of 2012, the population of Canada is estimated at 34,762,000 and makes up 0.5 percent of the world’s total population. The country’s population density is considered low, but many regions in the southern part of Canada have population densities comparable to and even higher than some European countries. The northern regions have low population density due to the fact that the land is not arable. Depending on the region, Canada’s habitable land has modest to high population density. The combined population of the 16 largest cities is around 17,885,000. There are 100 Canadian cities with a population of 45,000 inhabitants or more while 230 towns have a population of 15,000 inhabitants or more.

The population of Canada grew by 979 percent between 1867 and 2009. Today, the population growth is around 1.24 percent, and the Northwest Territories has the highest growth rate (11 percent). Alberta, Nunavut, and Ontario have population growth of 10.6 percent, 10.2 percent, and 6.6 percent, respectively.

It has been estimated that Canada will have 42.5 million residents by 2056, but the population growth is expected to decrease. This is mainly due to the overall decline in natural increase. Natural increase was the main factor driving population growth until the early 90s. A reversal occurred in the mid-90s when migration became the main engine of population growth. This is due to the aging of the population and low fertility. The fertility of Canadian women under 30 years of age has declined while it remains stable in the U.S. The fertility rate is 3 times higher in the U.S. between ages 15 and 19. The gap is 3 to 1 for the age group 20 to 24. The country is presently heading toward zero growth unlike the U.S. where population growth is expected to remain stable.

As of 2009, the average life expectancy is 81.23 years – 83.91 years for females and 78.69 years for males. It has been estimated that deaths will start outnumbering births around 2030. This means that immigration will become the only factor that drives population growth in Canada.

The majority of people who identify themselves as Canadians (32.22 percent) live in the province of Quebec. Those who commonly identify themselves as English account for 21.03 percent of the population. Over 43 percent of them live in Newfoundland and Labrador. The French-speaking population of Canada is concentrated in Quebec (28.9 percent). The country’s population is quite diverse, however, and represented ethnic minorities include German, Irish, North American Indian, Swedish, Jewish, Hungarian, etc. The largest visible minorities are South Asian, Chinese, and Black. The Aboriginal population of Canada accounts for 3.75 percent of the total population or close to 1,173,000. Most persons of aboriginal origin live in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba.