2001 Canadian census

Last updated
2001 Canadian census

  1996 May 15, 2001 2006  

Statistics Canada logo.svg
General information
Total population30,007,094 (Increase2.svg 4%)

The 2001 Canadian census was a detailed enumeration of the Canadian population. Census day was May 15, 2001. On that day, Statistics Canada attempted to count every person in Canada. The total population count of Canada was 30,007,094. [1] This was a 4% increase over 1996 census of 28,846,761. In contrast, the official Statistics Canada population estimate for 2001 was 31,021,300. This is considered a more accurate population number than the actual count. [2]


The previous census was the 1996 census and the following census was in 2006 census.

Canada by the numbers

A summary of information about Canada.

Total population30,007,094
Median age37.6 years
Average earnings$31,757

Census summary

Canada has experienced one of the smallest census-to-census growth rates in its population. From 1996 to 2001, the nation's population increased only 4.0%. The census counted 30,007,094 people on May 15, 2001, compared with 28,846,761 on May 14, 1996.

Only three provinces and one territory had growth rates above the national average. Alberta's population soared 10.3%, Ontario gained 6.1% and British Columbia, 4.9%. Nunavut's population rose 8.1%. The population of Newfoundland and Labrador declined for the second consecutive census period.

Urbanization continued. In 2001, 79.4% of Canadians lived in an urban centre of 10,000 people or more, compared with 78.5% in 1996. Outside the urban centres, the population of rural and small-town areas declined 0.4%.

In 2001, just over 64% of the nation's population, or about 19,297,000 people, lived in the 27 census metropolitan areas (CMAs), up slightly from 63% in 1996. Seven of these 27 CMAs saw their populations grow at a rate of at least double the national average. The strongest rise, by far, occurred in Calgary.

From 1996 to 2001, the nation's population concentrated further in four broad urban regions: the extended Golden Horseshoe in southern Ontario; Montreal and environs; British Columbia's Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island; and the Calgary-Edmonton corridor. In 2001, 51% of Canada's population lived in these regions, compared with 49% in 1996.

Population by province/territory

RankProvince or territoryPopulation as of
2001 census
Population as of
1996 census
1Flag of Ontario.svg  Ontario 11,410,04610,753,573656,473 Increase2.svg6.1% Increase2.svg
2Flag of Quebec.svg  Quebec 7,237,4797,138,79598,684 Increase2.svg1.4% Increase2.svg
3Flag of British Columbia.svg  British Columbia 3,907,7383,724,500183,238 Increase2.svg4.9% Increase2.svg
4Flag of Alberta.svg  Alberta 2,974,8072,696,826277,981 Increase2.svg10.3% Increase2.svg
5Flag of Manitoba.svg  Manitoba 1,119,5831,113,8985,685 Increase2.svg0.5% Increase2.svg
6Flag of Saskatchewan.svg  Saskatchewan 978,933976,6152,318 Increase2.svg0.2% Increase2.svg
7Flag of Nova Scotia.svg  Nova Scotia 908,007909,282-1,275 Decrease2.svg-0.1% Decrease2.svg
8Flag of New Brunswick.svg  New Brunswick 729,498738,133-8,635 Decrease2.svg-1.2% Decrease2.svg
9Flag of Newfoundland and Labrador.svg  Newfoundland and Labrador 512,930551,790-38,860 Decrease2.svg-7.0% Decrease2.svg
10Flag of Prince Edward Island.svg  Prince Edward Island 135,294134,557737 Increase2.svg0.5% Increase2.svg
11Flag of the Northwest Territories.svg  Northwest Territories 37,36064,402-27,042 Decrease2.svg-42.0% Decrease2.svg
12Flag of Yukon.svg  Yukon 28,67430,766-2,092 Decrease2.svg-6.8% Decrease2.svg
13Flag of Nunavut.svg  Nunavut 26,745
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 30,007,09428,833,1371,173,957 Increase2.svg4.1% Increase2.svg


Mother tongue

Population by mother tongue of Canada's official languages:

Mother tonguePopulation
English 17,572,170
French 6,741,955
Bilingual 122,660

Aboriginal peoples

Population of Aboriginal peoples in Canada:

Aboriginal Population976,305
North American Indian 608,850
Métis 292,305
Inuit 45,070

Ethnic origin

Population by ethnic origin. Only those origins with more than 250,000 respondents are included here. This is based entirely on self reporting.

Ethnic originsTotal responsesSingle responsesMultiple responses 2
Total population29,639,03518,307,54011,331,490
Canadian 11,682,6806,748,1354,934,550
English 5,978,8751,479,5204,499,355
French 4,668,4101,060,7553,607,655
Scottish 4,157,210607,2353,549,975
Irish 3,822,660496,8653,325,800
German 2,742,765705,5952,037,170
Italian 1,270,370726,275544,090
Chinese 1,094,700936,210158,490
Ukrainian 1,071,060326,200744,860
North American Indian 1,000,890455,805545,085
Dutch (Netherlands)923,310316,220607,090
Polish 817,085260,415556,670
African 731,044UnknownUnknown
East Indian 713,330581,665131,665
Norwegian 363,76047,230316,530
Portuguese 357,690252,835104,855
Welsh 350,36528,445321,925
Jewish 348,605186,475162,130
Russian 337,96070,890267,070
Filipino 327,545266,14061,410
Métis 307,84572,210235,635
Swedish 282,76030,440252,320
Hungarian (Magyar)267,25591,795175,460
American (USA)250,01025,200224,805


Population by religion. Only those religions with more than 250,000 respondents are included here. The census question was partly aided—that is, the questionnaire form gave examples of some of the denominations but not others. The actual question asked is noted below.

ReligionTotal responses % of Population
Roman Catholic 12,793,12543.2
No religion4,796,32516.2
United Church 2,839,1259.6
Anglican 2,035,5006.9
Christian n.i.e. [3] 780,4502.6
Baptist 729,4702.5
Lutheran 606,5902.0
Muslim 579,6402.0
Protestant n.i.e. [3] 549,2051.9
Presbyterian 409,8301.4
Pentecostal 369,4751.2
Jewish 329,9951.1
Buddhist 300,3451.0
Hindu 297,2001.0
Sikh 278,4100.9
Jediism 21,0000.1

The actual question asked: "What is this person's religion? Indicate a specific denomination or religion even if this person is not currently a practising member of that group.

For example, Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, United Church, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, etc."

Visible minorities

Visible minorityTotal responses % of Population
Chinese 1,029,3953.47
South Asian 917,0703.09
Black 662,2152.23
Filipino 308,5751.04
Not a visible


Population by age:

0–4 years1,696,285
5–14 years4,029,255
15–19 years2,053,325
20–24 years1,955,810
25–44 years9,096,560
45–54 years4,419,290
55–64 years2,868,015
65–74 years2,142,835
75–84 years1,329,810
85 years and over415,910


Every person was legally required to return the census questionnaire that required answering basic demographic information. In addition randomly selected people were legally required to complete a much more detailed questionnaire.

On May 15, 2001, Statistics Canada had thousands of canvassers who went around to try to ensure that the entire population was counted. For the first time, this included canvassers who went to homeless shelters to ensure that the homeless were included in the census.

In addition to a small number of individuals who refused to participate, some first nation communities refused to participate en masse and therefore some of the statistics are inaccurate. This is noted as footnotes in many of the affected results.

Effects of the census

The census numbers are the basis of the federal governments transfer payments to the provinces and therefore when a province loses population, its transfer payments are decreased.

In addition, the census numbers are one of the elements that Elections Canada uses to create the boundaries of federal ridings.

See also

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  1. "2001 Census facts: did you know..." (PDF). Statistics Canada. 2006. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  2. "Population estimates". Statistics Canada. 2006. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  3. 1 2 not included elsewhere