Ontario is one of the thirteen provinces in Canada. With 38.3% of the nation’s population, it is Canada’s most populous province and the highest point of immigration.
Due to immigration and other factors, the Ontario population has been growing steadily for years. In addition, Ontario is the home of Canada’s capital city and the most populous city in Canada.
This article looks at the province and what contributions immigration and other factors have made to those numbers.
Location of Ontario
The Ontario province is bordered in the West by the province of Manitoba and in the East by Quebec.
North of Ontario, we have Hudson Bay and James Bay. Finally, to the South, there are the US states of Michigan, New York, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.
However, the borders with the United States states are not direct, as most follow inland waterways.
Population of Ontario
The Ontario population was counted to be 13.4 million, according to the last census conducted in Canada in 2016.
However, the population of Ontario in 2021 is estimated to be around 14.8 million due to the steady population growth over the years.
The questions here are, what percentage of the Ontario population has come from immigration, and what other classifications/factors can be used to quantify this population?
Largest 6 Cities in Ontario
Ontario has a population of 13,448,494 spread over a land area of 908,607.67 km2. Hence, they have a population density of 14.8/km2.
The most populated cities in the province are Toronto; the state capital, Ottawa; the country’s capital city, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Oshawa, etc.
#1. Toronto (2,731,571)
Toronto is the most populous city not just in Ontario but in Canada as well. It is the provincial capital of Ontario and one of the most recognized multicultural cities in the world. Hence, one can call this place a center of arts and culture.
During the 2016 census, Toronto was counted to have about 2,731,571 citizens, making it not just the most populous city in Canada but the fourth most populous in North America.
#2. Ottawa (934,243)
Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It is located in South-East Ontario and just south of the Ottawa River. The last census conducted in Canada had the population of Ottawa racking numbers up to around 934,243 citizens.
Furthermore, the regional municipality had 1,476,008 citizens. This makes the city the fourth largest city in Canada by population.
However, owing to the growth rate of this province, the population here in 2021 is expected to have crossed 1 million.
#3. Hamilton (536,917)
A mere 58km South-west of Toronto lies Hamilton. This port city in Ontario once made its buck as a fishing village. They also have steel and manufacturing industries.
In recent times, however, Hamilton city has other sectors to keep it afloat. These include health and sciences and a couple of other service sectors.
In 2016, the population in Hamilton was counted to be 536,917. The entire metropolitan area, however, numbered up to 767,000 citizens.
#4. London (382,822)
With a population of 382,222 in 2016, London (not to be confused with London, UK) is the fourth largest city in Ontario by population. This city plays harbor to various ethnicities, including English (who number more than the Canadians), American, Scottish, Irish, German, etc.
Expectedly, the most common language is English, followed by French and Arabic.
#6. Kitchener (232,222)
Formerly known as Berlin and 100km due West of Toronto, the city of Kitchener lies. This city is one of the three that make up the Waterloo Region; hence the city is commonly called Kitchener-Waterloo.
Kitchener (or Kitchener-Waterloo) has a population of 232,222 over an area of 136.6km2.
Immigrant Population in Ontario
Ontario has the highest immigration rate of all thirteen provinces in Canada. In mid-2020, it was stated that the province of Ontario had nearly 49.7% of the total number of immigrants from the previous year. Immigrants here are those who do not have traceable ancestry in Canada up to the fourth generation.
#1. By Generation
First-generation immigrants are those who came to Canada themselves, regardless of their reason. These people are born outside of Canada and come to the country for one reason or another. Second-generation immigrants are those born of first-generation immigrants.
The third-generation immigrants, however, are the grandchildren of first- and second-generation immigrants.
They are those born in Canada and whose parents were born in Canada. From this level, they are now referred to as citizens.
It might interest you that of the Ontario population, 30.6% are first gen immigrants, per the latest census statistics. About 22.6% are second-generation immigrants, and finally, 45.13% are third-generation immigrants.
Ontario Population of Immigrants by Generation
First Generation: 4,122,840
Second Generation: 3,049,835
Third Generation (or higher): 6,069,485
#2. By Reason
There are four primary reasons, according to Legalize; economic reasons, family reasons, and humanitarian reasons, other reasons.
Family Class Immigrants
Immigrants accepted into Canada for family reasons are often called Family Class immigrants. This is because they are closely related to Canadian citizens who have been promised financial help or sponsorship.
Hence, if you have an eligible relative who is a Canadian or has obtained permanent residency there, they can sponsor you to come over and obtain permanent residency of your own.
These are those admitted into Canada for their skills and anticipated contribution to the Canadian economy.
It could be their ability to manage a business, create employment or make certain investments that could uplift the state’s economy. This category of immigrants is further sub-divided into three;
Skilled Worker Class; acceptance into Canada based on experience or prowess in a particular skill.
Canadian Experience Class; consists of those living in Canada under a temporary scheme but wishing to apply for permanent residency.
Business Class; consists of those with the necessary funds (and intentions) to start a business or further expand an existing one once they settle in Canada.
The IRCC (Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship, Canada) has a system to process applications under the economic immigration category. This system is called Express Entry.
These are immigrants accepted into Canada by the IRPA on humanitarian grounds. These could include victims of war, endangered ethnicity, the best interest of children, consequences of not granting them such a request, etc.
Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) is the body in charge of determining the factors to admit people into Canada as humanitarian immigrants.
Other reasons accepted for immigration to Canada could include people who moved for study purposes or other reasons not covered within the first three categories of immigrants.
Ontario Population of Immigrants by Category
Family Class Immigrants: 940,405
Economic Immigrants: 1,364,380
Humanitarian Immigrants: 482,665
Other reasons: 578,830
Ontario Population by Religion
Ontario finds itself home to a lot of different cultures and, hence a lot of different religions as well. However, certain religious groups still outnumber others by a mile.
These groups include Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jewish people, and various other religions.
In addition to these, there is also the group with no religious affiliation, which ironically happens to be the second most prominent group after Catholics.
Here are the demographics (in percentage) of Ontario by religion;
No Religious Affiliation: 23.1%
Other Christians: 9.7%
Christian Orthodox: 2.4%
Ontario Population Projection
During the spring of 2021, the Ontario Ministry of Finance made a population projection for the province. This was to serve as a 30-year projection to 2046 from the last census in 2016. However, the base year used here was 2020. In this projection, there were 49 census divisions.
In summary, Ontario’s population is expected to grow by 35.8% by 2046 to about 20 million inhabitants. However, this sort of growth, they say, will be affected up to 86% by net migration (immigration and emigration).
Finally, of all the provinces’ cities, Toronto is projected to be the fastest-growing. This is just as expected since it already contains the necessary facilities to support the such influx of citizens and attract further modernization.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ontario’s Population in 2021?
Since the last census in 2016, experts have closely monitored the growth rate of the Ontario population. Therefore in 2021, the province will have about 14.8 million citizens.
What is the growth rate of Ontario’s Population?
The growth rate of the Ontario population has always been a straight-line graph. Such numbers are affected by factors including the economy, war, pandemics such as COVID, etc.
From a rate of 4-6% between the last two censuses, the growth rate in 2020-2021 dropped to about 0.6% during the lockdown.
However, it is projected to increase to about 2.1% in 2021-2022, with sanity being restored to the world and the more significant effects of the pandemic slowly passing.
How many people in Ontario have been vaccinated against COVID?
The latest statistics for 2021 Q3 show that about 77% of the population in Ontario, Canada, have been fully vaccinated. Conversely, about 78-79% of the population have received at least one vaccination dose.
Which Age Group is the most Populous in Ontario?
Ontario’s population ranges between ages 50-59. Right next to that is the 40-49 range; hence Ontario is easily a middle-aged city.
This is expected, however, as Ontario is full of working-class people and immigrants come to reap or sow in the country’s economy.
In conclusion, the population of Ontario is growing at a steady rate. The number of citizens versus immigrants is constantly changing, but the overall trend is positive. The government is working hard to ensure that the province remains an attractive place to live and work and that all residents have access to the resources they need.