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- Thread starter kora
- Start date

This interactive dashboard allows the user to visualize the factors of population growth and how they have changed over time for census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations. The dashboard shows population, population growth, factors of population growth (natural increase, international...

www150.statcan.gc.ca

Holy cow, those are some massive numbers. I was expecting high growth, but not that much.

Looks like Canada as a whole had huge numbers, thanks to good old international immigration. I suspect all of the major metros had big numbers.

Looks like Canada as a whole had huge numbers, thanks to good old international immigration. I suspect all of the major metros had big numbers.

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Toronto 6,685,621 (6,547,381) +138,240

Vancouver 2,842,730 (2,764,932) +77,798

Calgary 1,608,342 (1,558,588) +49,754

Montréal 4,378,796 (4,340,642) +38,154

Edmonton 1,516,719 ( 1,480,159) +36,560

Ottawa 1,498,610 (1,474,077) +24,553

Kitchener 622,497 (599,816) +22,681

Winnipeg 871,778 (858,848) +12,930

Québec 848,776 (836,615) +12,161

Hamilton 821,839 (811,396) +10,443

Victoria 423,136 (413,859) +9,277

Saskatoon 347,536 (339,870) +7,666

Kelowna 235,473 (229,003) +6,470

Regina 268,804 (264,375) +4,429

Lethbridge 133,064 (130,088) +2.976

Once the ripples from the pandemic and all the demographic chaos that stemmed from it fade in a few years, it'll be easier to see the trend as the estimates have more uncertainty than previous years. The massive 2022 immigration growth numbers, was largely a function of a complete collapse in immigration in 2020 and part of 2021, for example.

Data quirks aside, the "cities are dying, too expensive and everyone will work remotely from small towns" crowd that was quite vocal in the pandemic, got rejected pretty hard with this forecast update as it fully reverts us back to the long-term trend and then some. The major cities are and will remain the engines of Canada indefinitely.

The numbers are kind of confusing. I was thinking if Foothills MD was added it would be 80 some K, and then you add on the 25K extra growth above Ottawa's that we had last year, subtract the 7000 less than Ottawa we had last year, it comes out close to the 110K difference we are at now. But that would also mean that Edmonton would have had to have done the same thing as they were showing as 1,480,000 last year. They also state they are using 2016 maps. Who knows.

It would make sense. But as you said, the current CMA map for 2021 shows no addition of FoothillsThe numbers are kind of confusing. I was thinking if Foothills MD was added it would be 80 some K, and then you add on the 25K extra growth above Ottawa's that we had last year, subtract the 7000 less than Ottawa we had last year, it comes out close to the 110K difference we are at now. But that would also mean that Edmonton would have had to have done the same thing as they were showing as 1,480,000 last year. They also state they are using 2016 maps. Who knows.

It's a little ridiculous that Okotoks and High River aren't included in our CMA.

The population estimates created for every year by Statistics Canada are a different data series than the census. For some reason -- I suspect historical consistency -- they aren't actually adjusted to match the census. Statistics Canada seems to prize being able to compare a number today to a number from 30 years ago above the number today being accurate or relevant. All three of these things are important, but accurate, relevant data is IMO more important for trying to understand what's happening today! I've had the exact discussion with Statistics Canada representatives on a different data topic; there are two programs that produce two different counts that both purport to be the same thing for the same place at the same time, (the number of employed people in a CMA) and they say that both of them are equally correct.

I believe -- this is more gut than reading detailed methodology -- that the annual population estimates are basically a running total; that is, at some point in the distant past, they started with the Census population. Each year, they take administrative data and estimates of same to produce estimates of how many people moved into and out of each area, how many people were born and died, and that produces an updated estimate. This methodology makes sense on a year-to-year basis; how else could you produce a 2022 estimate than taking the change versus the 2021 estimate? But it's like if you wanted to put a series of marks down a hallway one foot apart and you used a ruler rather than a tape measure; the errors can propagate from year to year, add up, and eventually you're a long ways away from the truth. (One minor thing is that the Census population is officially the population in early May - in 2021 it was May 11, and the estimate is July 1, which means that there is also 1/7 of a year or so in population changes.)

The Census count is a much better value, since it's a start-from-scratch measure, rather than a continuous series of adjustments. So I take that as ground truth.

Here's the annual population estimates as well as the actual Census counts:

It's a challenge -- the estimate for Calgary is over 75,000 people high versus the Census count - 5% high, so it's not really all that meaningful anymore, but it wouldn't make sense to say that the population dropped 75,000 between the 2020 estimate and the 2021 actual count. And that's why the 2021 Census says that Ottawa had 7000 more people than Calgary but the 2022 estimate says that Calgary has 100,000 more. It's that the Calgary estimate is 75,000 high and the Ottawa estimate is 15,000 low.

In reality, if you want to know how many people live somewhere, you need to use the Census number; the population estimate is the best up-to-dateish information about the way the population is changing, but in absolute terms, it's really more "vibes" than "facts".

I don't remember where I was reading it, but I'm pretty sure it was on statscan's page stating that the estimates were actually more accurate than the census. Here's all I could find from statscan today, It doesn't really say which one is more accurate only that the census isn't always accurate, but also says the estimates arent always accurate either. The other artivle i'm thinking of mentioned that the estimates were ties to various things like tax records, and employer records, EI, etc.. basically anything that come into the government that ties people to geography.

This blurb from the statscan page may give some insight into why we are seeing some big differences. This is from March 2022, but says there will be some updates to the estimates between 2016 and 2023. It's not September yet, but maybe they are early? If not, we may see some new estimate is September.

*Postcensal coverage study results are usually available two years after enumeration date. These will be used to revise and update the population estimates based on the 2021 Census results. Consequently, a series of revised population estimates for the period 2016 to 2023 will be disseminated in September 2023.*

This blurb from the statscan page may give some insight into why we are seeing some big differences. This is from March 2022, but says there will be some updates to the estimates between 2016 and 2023. It's not September yet, but maybe they are early? If not, we may see some new estimate is September.

The population estimates created for every year by Statistics Canada are a different data series than the census. For some reason -- I suspect historical consistency -- they aren't actually adjusted to match the census. Statistics Canada seems to prize being able to compare a number today to a number from 30 years ago above the number today being accurate or relevant. All three of these things are important, but accurate, relevant data is IMO more important for trying to understand what's happening today! I've had the exact discussion with Statistics Canada representatives on a different data topic; there are two programs that produce two different counts that both purport to be the same thing for the same place at the same time, (the number of employed people in a CMA) and they say that both of them are equally correct.

I believe -- this is more gut than reading detailed methodology -- that the annual population estimates are basically a running total; that is, at some point in the distant past, they started with the Census population. Each year, they take administrative data and estimates of same to produce estimates of how many people moved into and out of each area, how many people were born and died, and that produces an updated estimate. This methodology makes sense on a year-to-year basis; how else could you produce a 2022 estimate than taking the change versus the 2021 estimate? But it's like if you wanted to put a series of marks down a hallway one foot apart and you used a ruler rather than a tape measure; the errors can propagate from year to year, add up, and eventually you're a long ways away from the truth. (One minor thing is that the Census population is officially the population in early May - in 2021 it was May 11, and the estimate is July 1, which means that there is also 1/7 of a year or so in population changes.)

The Census count is a much better value, since it's a start-from-scratch measure, rather than a continuous series of adjustments. So I take that as ground truth.

Here's the annual population estimates as well as the actual Census counts:

It's a challenge -- the estimate for Calgary is over 75,000 people high versus the Census count - 5% high, so it's not really all that meaningful anymore, but it wouldn't make sense to say that the population dropped 75,000 between the 2020 estimate and the 2021 actual count. And that's why the 2021 Census says that Ottawa had 7000 more people than Calgary but the 2022 estimate says that Calgary has 100,000 more. It's that the Calgary estimate is 75,000 high and the Ottawa estimate is 15,000 low.

In reality, if you want to know how many people live somewhere, you need to use the Census number; the population estimate is the best up-to-dateish information about the way the population is changing, but in absolute terms, it's really more "vibes" than "facts".

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Whatever the true numbers really are, one thing for sure, Calgary is seeing some big growth. When I was younger, I always figured I would see Calgary hit 1 million, but wasn’t sure if I would live long enough to see Calgary hit 2 million. At the rate we’re going that’s going to be fairly soon.

110,000 * 😉💅