Metro Vancouver utilizes data and information from Statistics Canada to assist with planning for population growth, development and transportation services. The Census of Canada is conducted for the entire national population every five years, most recently in 2011. Additionally, the National Housing Survey was conducted for the first time in 2011 on a voluntary basis to complement the census, collecting added information such as social and economic data.
Statistics Canada uses the boundaries of the Vancouver CMA (census metropolitan area) to gather statistics for the Metro Vancouver region; the regional district boundaries and the CMA boundaries are the same.
2011 Census Highlights
- Metro Vancouver’s Census population increased by 197,000 (from 2,116,583 in 2006 to 2,313,328 in 2011.
- In this 5 year period, there was 50% more growth than the previous 5 year period from 2001 to 2006 the region’s population grew by 130,000).
- Metro Vancouver had the second highest population growth among Metropolitan areas in Canada (Toronto had the highest, adding 470,000 residents – from 5,113,149 in 2006 to 5,583,064 in 2011).
- As of 2011, Metro Vancouver remained the third largest Metropolitan area by population (behind Toronto at 5,583,064 and Montreal’s 3,824, 221).
- Metro Vancouver absorbed about 69% of provincial growth, increasing the region’s share of provincial population from 51.5% to 52.5% (British Columbia’s population increased by 286,570, from 4,113,487 in 2006 to 4,400,057 in 2011; Greater Victoria absorbed about 5% (14,527), while the Fraser Valley Regional District absorbed about 4% (11,171)).
- Within Metro Vancouver, Surrey absorbed the largest share of regional growth (73,275 additional residents, representing about 37% of the region's growth). The City of Vancouver took the second largest share with 25,461 additional residents, about 13% of the region's growth.
- Metro Vancouver’s average household size increased from 2.56 to 2.60 over the past 5 years, reversing a trend of decreasing average household size seen over past Census periods.
2011 Census Bulletins
Using data from the Census of Canada, Metro Vancouver has produced a series of bulletins profiling the region's population, age and gender, agriculture business, immigration, language, Aboriginal population, ethnic origins, families, educational levels, labour force, migration, income, and housing.