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Where we live

Rural retreat

Statistics Canada defines “rural” in various ways: an area with 150 persons per square kilometre; an area with less than 1,000 population; or all territory outside urban areas.
Another benchmark (and the basis for the figures that follow) is to define as rural any area, including small towns, outside an urban centre with a population of 10,000 or more. In 1996, such rural areas were home to 21.5 percent of Canadians. By 2001, this percentage had fallen to 20.3 percent or about 6.1 million people. Only Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta bucked the trend (areas that grew generally had more than one in three residents commuting to larger centres). Resource-rich communities of Northern Ontario (Greenstone, Kirkland Lake, and Elliott Lake) and British Columbia (Mackenzie, Prince Rupert, and Comox-Strathcona) were especially hard hit, with losses exceeding 12 percent of their populations.


Rural retreat This self-running slide show, “Rural Canada,” contains images of Canadian cityscapes alternating with rural images. Clicking on the text box “Urban and rural population” opens a bar chart showing proportions of urban and rural population in each province and territory.


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Commuting to work

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Quiz :

Between 1996 and 2001, many of Canada's fastest growing municipalities were located where?

Calgary-Edmonton corridor
Vancouver Island