Population Growth Declines in Canada’s Major Urban Centers Amid Pandemic

Amid record-low mortgage rates and flexible remote work options, an increasing number of younger Canadians have been migrating out of expensive urban centers and into suburban and rural regions.

According to the latest data released by Statistics Canada, census metropolitan areas (CMAs) across Canada saw a slow-down in population growth. Population levels between July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020 slowed to 1.3%, down from 1.7% during the same period a year prior. The recent population decline has been the result of more people opting to forego the high costs and less-spacious living arrangements of CMAs in heavily-populated cities amid the pandemic.

Some of the largest cities in the country, including Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto, have all been subject of a population decline as younger people relocated to more spacious municipalities. A combined total of 87,444 individuals migrated from the three cities’ CMAs between July 2019 and July 2020 to other, less-populated places in the province, marking a considerable increase from the average exodus of 72,686 noted in the prior three periods.

The increase in demand for real estate outside of urban centers and heavily-populated CMAs can also be illustrated with the sharp increases in housing costs in neighbouring markets. With more Canadians being able to work from home, and thus forego some of the pandemic-related health risks associated with urban regions, the urban sprawl will likely continue throughout the pandemic — and perhaps even after.

Information for this briefing was found via Statistics Canada. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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