Urbanization in Canada 2021
Canada's rural exodus
Canada is one of the largest countries in the world regarding land area, second behind Russia. However, Canada´s inhabitants - like the majority of people around the world - prefer to live in cities where there are more possibilities to work and play. The country is part of North America, the most urbanized continent in the world. In 2014, almost 82 percent of Canada was urbanized, i.e. more than 80 percent of the Canadian population lived in cities. The manufacturing, finance, construction and trade that occurs within their boundaries help fuel the economy of urban areas. While mining and oil and gas extraction compose a large share of Canada's GDP and are often located in rural areas, they do not provide many jobs. Furthermore, agriculture, which was once of primary importance to the economy of rural areas, no longer plays the same role and makes up only a small share of both GDP and employment.
In Canada, people primarily migrate to the larger cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As these cities and others attract young adults, this leaves less of them who stay and start families in rural areas. As a consequence, rural areas are experiencing a population decline as rural births do not compensate for urban migration. Shrinking rural areas and growing urban areas will place demands on both urban and rural infrastructure in Canada and around the world.