Kitchener-Waterloo

Waterloo region fastest growing population in Canada, StatsCan data shows

The census metropolitan area of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge is the fastest growing population in the country, new data shows.

Low cost of living, job opportunities helps drive people here, says economic development manager

The census metropolitan area of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge is the fastest growing in the country, new data shows. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

The census metropolitan area of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge is the fastest growing in the country, new data from Statistics Canada shows.

In a report released Thursday looking at population growth across the country based on the most recent census, Waterloo region leads with a 2.8 per cent increase, followed by London and the Ontario section of Ottawa-Gatineau with 2.3 per cent.

"The arrival of many permanent and temporary immigrants played a key role in their growth," the report said.

Matthew Chandy, manager of the Office of Regional Economic Development, says the increase doesn't surprise him.

"That number, it kind of aligned with everything we've been seeing happen in the community. We do have companies locating here. You see the expansions that are happening in technology in the technology sector," he said.

"You see a lot of newcomers coming to our post-secondary institutions."

Chandy said there's also room to continue to grow.

"Last week, Google announced their plan to grow another 2,000 employees," he said. "You have companies like that leading the way and saying we need more people to come here. And that's not just a Google thing, you're hearing lots of companies saying talent attraction is very important for Waterloo region."

The cost of living in the region is lower than in Toronto, he said, which makes this area attractive and there are thriving urban centres to keep people entertained. He said as long as the region continues to have strong housing starts, then it will be able to continue to support future population growth.

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