Long-term GTA population density change

A new analysis from Statistics Canada compares population density in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto for 1971 and 2016 to provide a long-term view of urbanization.

The overall population of Toronto CMA increased 120 per cent, from 2.7 million in 1971 to 5.9 million in 2016, with the largest increases in population seen in the largest cities, including Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton. The fastest growth occurred in Vaughan and Markham.

Notably, Province of Ontario finance ministry officials say the GTA is projected to be the fastest growing region of the province, accounting for more than 65 per cent of Ontario’s net population growth to 2041. The GTA’s population is projected to increase from 6.9 million in 2017 to 9.7 million in 2041.

Image courtesy of Statistics Canada

Geographic name 2016 1971 2016
Land area Population Private dwelling Population Private dwelling
km2 number
Toronto CMA 5,905.8 2,699,927 794,253 5,928,040 2,235,145
Toronto 630.2 2,089,729 630,164 2,731,571 1,179,057
Mississauga 292.4 172,510 46,973 721,599 248,469
Brampton 266.4 69,943 18,252 593,638 173,428
Markham 212.3 36,684 9,557 328,966 106,131
Vaughan 273.6 15,873 4,270 306,233 96,657
Richmond Hill 101.1 32,384 8,680 195,022 66,465
Oakville 138.9 59,043 16,091 193,832 68,617
Ajax 67.0 17,878 4,639 119,677 38,105
Milton 363.2 13,583 3,638 110,128 35,537
Pickering 231.5 25,196 6,239 91,771 31,630
Newmarket 38.5 18,941 5,059 84,224 29,315
Caledon 688.2 17,422 4,689 66,502 22,021
Halton Hills 276.3 31,136 8,324 61,161 21,475
Aurora 49.8 13,614 3,611 55,445 19,381
Whitchurch-Stouffville 206.2 11,262 3,113 45,837 15,712
Georgina 287.8 14,959 4,570 45,418 18,687
Bradford West Gwillimbury 201.0 6,673 1,803 35,325 11,918
New Tecumseth 274.2 10,438 2,944 34,242 13,191
Orangeville 15.6 8,074 2,400 28,900 10,696
King 333.3 12,864 3,400 24,512 8,736
East Gwillimbury 245.0 9,359 2,427 23,991 8,279
Uxbridge 420.9 9,507 2,619 21,176 7,946
Mono 277.8 2,735 757 8,609 3,127
Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation 14.5 120 34 261 565

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