Proportion of the population living in urban and rural settings, Canada, 1851 to 2011

Notes: The term ‘population centre’ replaces the term ‘urban area’. The rural population for 1981 to 2011 refers to persons living outside centres with a population of 1,000 AND outside areas with 400 persons per square kilometre. Previous to 1981, the definitions differed slightly but consistently referred to populations outside centres of 1,000 population.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Statistics Canada, 2011 Census of Population. – accessed July 18, 2017.

The majority of Canadians – 81% – live in urban settings (2011), reflecting a dramatic increase over the past 150 years.

This has remained consistent over the last two decades.