Population growth in Hamilton slowing slightly, census shows

New census data released today shows population growth in the Hamilton area has dipped slightly in recent years.

536,917 people now live in Hamilton, according to new data

Hamilton's population growth rate slowed slightly in recent years, according to new Statistics Canada data. (Terry Asma/CBC)

New census data released Wednesday shows population growth in the Hamilton area has dipped slightly in recent years.

According to statistics Canada, population in the Hamilton census metropolitan area (which includes Burlington and Grimsby) grew by 3.7 per cent between 2011 and 2016, down from 4.1 per cent between 2006 and 2011.

The CMA population is now 747,545. The city of Hamilton itself grew by 3.3 per cent, bringing Hamilton's population to 536,917 in 2016.

That number puts Hamilton slightly behind the national average of 5 per cent growth — though Canada's numbers dipped on the whole as well, down from 5.9 per cent in the last census report. The national rate is still the highest of the G7 countries.

The nearest comparable areas to Hamilton were Brantford and St. Catharines-Niagara, which came in at 3.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent growth, respectively. Brantford's number was a significant drop, coming down from 8.7 per cent growth in the last census report.

T. Statistics Canada says Hamilton had 222,918 "private dwellings" in 2016, occupied by 211,596 "usual residents," which means a place where a person or a group of people are permanently residing. 

Nationally, Canada's population grew to 35,151,728 last year, largely driven by growth in the west.

The quickest pace of growth recorded in Alberta (11.6 per cent), Saskatchewan (6.3 per cent) and Manitoba (5.8 per cent).

British Columbia also grew faster than the national average, increasing by 5.6 per cent. Just under 32 per cent of Canadians now live in the four western provinces, compared to 38.3 per cent in Ontario, 23.2 per cent in Quebec and 6.6 per cent in Atlantic Canada.

The four Atlantic provinces recorded the lowest growth in the country: 1.9 per cent in Prince Edward Island, 1 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador (where more deaths than births occurred in some years) and 0.2 per cent in Nova Scotia. The population of New Brunswick decreased by 0.5 per cent, the only province to see its population fall since 2011.