2016 census ranks K-W 10th in metropolitan areas

New census data shows the population of the metropolitan areas of Waterloo Region outpaced the national growth rate over the last five years.

New census data shows the population of the metropolitan areas of Waterloo Region outpaced the national growth rate over the last five years.

Statistics Canada released the first batch of numbers from the 2016 census on Wednesday and the population of what the government agency refers to as the census metropolitan area of Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo increased by 5.5 per cent since the last census in 2011.

The area's growth rate was above the national growth rate of 5.0 per cent, while the population of Ontario increased by 4.6 per cent. 

Census metropolitan areas do not conform to established municipal boundaries. Statistics Canada defines them as a metropolitan area with a population of at least 100,000, where the urban core of that area has at least 50,000 people. Commuting patterns and other factors are used in determining these census metropolitan areas.

Looking at metropolitan areas this way takes in to account the growing impact of suburban areas on Canada's largest cities.

How K-W ranks

When the 2016 census was taken last May 10, the population of the census metropolitan area of Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo was 523,894, compared with 496,383 from the 2011 census.

The population of the actual city of Kitchener was 233,222, up from from 219,153 in 2011. The census indicated that Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo ranked No. 10 among the country's 35 census metropolitan areas.

Canada's population on census day was 35,151,728, Statistics Canada reported.

The national census is conducted every five years. The information published Wednesday is the first of several releases of data to come from Statistics Canada over the next year that will eventually paint a detailed picture of the country, right down to the local level – including age breakdowns of the population, family makeup, languages spoken, immigration and ethnic origin, the level of education attained and income earned.