Population growth

Ontario's population reached 14,755,211 on January 1, 2021, with a increase of 21,705 people during the fourth quarter of 2020. This compares to an increase of 51,195 in the same quarter of the previous year.

Population growth, Ontario, Q4 2020
Components of population growth Number of people (in thousands)
Population, October 1, 2020 14,733.5
Plus births 34.6
Minus deaths 30.6
Plus immigrants 17.3
Minus emigrants footnote 1 1.9
Plus net change in non-permanent residents 2.7
Plus interprovincial arrivals 12.0
Minus interprovincial departures 12.4
Population, January 1, 2021 14,755.2

Births and deaths

There were 34,634 births during the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 1.3% from the same quarter of 2019. The number of deaths increased by 9.3% to reach 30,609.

Natural increase (births minus deaths) was 4,025 in the quarter, down from 6,202 in the same quarter of 2019.

International migration

Immigration to Ontario was 17,281 in the quarter, down substantially from 32,781 in the same quarter of 2019. Ontario received 42.0% of all immigrants to Canada in the quarter, little changed from 42.4% in the same quarter of 2019. Over the 12 months to December 31, Ontario received 82,981 immigrants, down sharply from 153,413 during the previous year.

There were 1,924 emigrants from Ontario in the fourth quarter, down considerably from 4,534 during the same quarter of the previous year. Ontario accounted for 39.5% of all emigration from Canada in the quarter.

The number of non-permanent residents in Ontario (NPRsi.e. foreign students, visa workers and refugee claimants) increased by 2,663 to about 580,000 in the quarter.

In summary, there was a net international migration gain of 18,020 in the fourth quarter, down significantly from a net gain of 44,591 in the same quarter of 2019.

components of population growth, Q4 2020 and average for (2015-2019)
Accessible description of chart

Interprovincial migration

In the fourth quarter of 2020, Ontario had a net outflow of 340 people to the rest of Canada, compared to a net gain of 402 people in the same quarter of 2019. Ontario experienced net gains in its exchanges with 6 of the 12 other provinces and territories, with the largest net gains from Manitoba (672) and Quebec (553). The largest net losses were to British Columbia (-1,212) and Nova Scotia (-488). Over the 12 months to December 31, Ontario's total net interprovincial migration loss was 3,488, compared to a net gain of 3,330 during the previous year.

Year-over-year growth

Over the 12 months to December 31, Ontario's population grew by 66,136 or 0.5%, lower than growth of 260,363 (1.8%) during the previous year. Among the provinces, Ontario had the third fastest population growth rate, after Alberta (0.8%) and Prince Edward Island (0.8%). Canada's population grew at a rate of 0.4% over the period.

For more information, contact Alex Munger at 437-242-7697.

Ontario Demographic Factsheet

Population (000s) - Estimates footnote 2
Region 2006 2011 2016 2018 2019 2020
Canada 32,571 34,339 36,109 37,065 37,593 38,005
Ontario 12,662 13,261 13,875 14,309 14,545 14,734
Ontario as % of Canada 38.9 38.6 38.4 38.6 38.7 38.8
Ontario average annual growth rate
(Over previous year shown)
1.3 0.9 0.9 1.7 1.6 1.3
Population (000s) - MOF Projections footnote 3
Region 2021 2026 2031 2036 2041 2046
Canada 38,285 40,315 42,271 44,115 45,844 47,479
Ontario 14,936 15,871 16,684 17,497 18,319 19,157
Ontario as % of Canada 39.0 39.4 39.5 39.7 40.0 40.3
Ontario average annual growth rate
(Over previous year shown)
1.4 1.2 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.9
Age distribution (%) - Estimates footnote 2
Age group 2006 2011 2016 2018 2019 2020
0–4 5.4 5.4 5.2 5.0 5.0 4.9
5–14 12.3 11.2 11.0 10.8 10.7 10.6
15–24 13.8 13.7 12.9 13.0 13.0 12.8
25–44 29.4 27.1 26.5 26.7 27.0 27.4
45–64 26.0 28.3 28.1 27.5 27.1 26.7
65–74 6.9 7.6 9.2 9.6 9.8 10.0
75+ 6.2 6.6 7.1 7.3 7.5 7.6
Age distribution (%) - MOF Projections footnote 3
Age group 2021 2026 2031 2036 2041 2046
0–4 5.0 5.0 4.9 4.8 4.9 4.9
5–14 10.5 10.1 10.0 10.0 9.9 9.9
15–24 12.9 12.8 12.6 12.3 12.4 12.4
25–44 27.3 27.7 27.3 26.7 25.9 25.6
45–64 26.4 24.4 23.0 23.1 23.6 23.9
65–74 10.2 11.0 11.6 10.8 9.7 9.3
75+ 7.8 9.1 10.6 12.3 13.6 14.0
Selected age groups (%) - Estimates footnote 2
Age group 2006 2011 2016 2018 2019 2020
0–14 17.8 16.6 16.1 15.8 15.6 15.5
15–64 69.2 69.1 67.6 67.3 67.1 66.9
65+ 13.0 14.2 16.3 16.9 17.3 17.6
Selected age groups (%) - MOF Projections footnote 3
Age group 2021 2026 2031 2036 2041 2046
0–14 15.5 15.1 14.9 14.8 14.7 14.8
15–64 66.5 64.8 62.9 62.1 61.9 61.9
65+ 18.0 20.2 22.2 23.1 23.4 23.3
Other characteristics - Estimates footnote 2
Other characteristic 2006 2011 2016 2018 2019 2020
Total dependency ratio (%) footnote 4 60.6 60.4 62.6 63.2 63.3 63.6
Median age (years) 38.4 39.8 40.7 40.6 40.5 40.4
Age span of baby boom (years) 41-60 46-65 51-70 52-71 53-72 54-73
Total fertility rate footnote 5 1.55 1.56 1.51 1.45 N/A N/A
Female life expectancy at birth (years) footnote 5 83.1 84.0 84.4 84.5 N/A N/A
Male life expectancy at birth (years) footnote 5 78.8 79.8 80.3 80.3 N/A N/A
Families (000s) 3,539 3,722 3,832 3,953 3,990 4,030
Households (000s) footnote 6 4,555 4,888 5,169 N/A N/A N/A
Other characteristics - MOF Projections footnote 3
Other characteristic 2021 2026 2031 2036 2041 2046
Total dependency ratio (%) footnote 4 64.8 69.7 74.7 77.0 77.7 77.6
Median age (years) 40.5 40.8 41.5 42.2 42.7 42.8
Age span of baby boom (years) 56-75 61-80 66-85 71-90 76-95 81-100
Total fertility rate footnote 5 1.46 1.44 1.45 1.48 1.51 1.55
Female life expectancy at birth (years) footnote 5 84.7 85.4 86.2 86.9 87.6 88.2
Male life expectancy at birth (years) footnote 5 80.8 81.8 82.8 83.8 84.7 85.5
Families (000s) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Households (000s) footnote 6 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Regional distribution (%) - Estimates footnote 2
Region 2006 2011 2016 2018 2019 2020
Greater Toronto Area 45.8 47.2 47.8 47.8 48.0 48.0
Central 22.0 21.6 21.6 21.7 21.7 21.7
Eastern 13.2 13.2 13.1 13.1 13.1 13.1
Southwestern 12.6 12.0 11.7 11.7 11.7 11.7
Northeastern 4.5 4.3 4.1 4.0 3.9 3.9
Northwestern 1.9 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.6
Regional distribution (%) - MOF Projections footnote 3
Region 2021 2026 2031 2036 2041 2046
Greater Toronto Area 48.0 48.4 48.8 49.1 49.5 49.8
Central 21.8 21.9 22.0 22.0 22.1 22.1
Eastern 13.1 13.0 12.9 12.9 12.8 12.7
Southwestern 11.7 11.5 11.4 11.3 11.1 11.0
Northeastern 3.8 3.6 3.4 3.3 3.1 3.0
Northwestern 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.4 1.3
Components of change (000s) footnote 7  — year beginning July 1
Period Population,
beginning of period
Total change Births Deaths Natural increase
Five-Year: 2001–06 11,898 764 658 418 240
Five-Year: 2006–11 12,662 600 697 441 256
Five-Year: 2011–16 13,261 614 702 471 231
Annual: 2016–17 13,875 195 141 102 39
Annual: 2017–18 14,070 239 141 107 34
Annual: 2018–19 14,309 236 140 109 31
Annual: 2019–20 14,545 189 143 115 28
Components of change (000s) footnote 7  — year beginning July 1
International migration
Period Immigrants Net emigrants Net NPRs Net
Five-Year: 2001–06 653 125 44 573
Five-Year: 2006–11 558 104 57 511
Five-Year: 2011–16 519 123 85 481
Annual: 2016–17 98 19 63 142
Annual: 2017–18 132 16 78 194
Annual: 2018–19 139 16 75 198
Annual: 2019–20 127 9 43 161
Components of change (000s) footnote 7  — year beginning July 1
Interprovincial migration
Period In Out Net
Five-Year: 2001–06 307 336 -30
Five-Year: 2006–11 296 355 -59
Five-Year: 2011–16 307 346 -39
Annual: 2016–17 72 58 13
Annual: 2017–18 70 60 10
Annual: 2018–19 67 60 7
Annual: 2019–20 70 70 0

Note: All population figures are for July 1st.

Sources: Ontario Ministry of Finance and Statistics Canada.

March 18, 2021
Office of Economic Policy


Accessible image description:

This bar chart compares the components of population growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 with the average of the same quarter of the previous five years (2015-2019). In the fourth quarter of 2020, births, deaths and the net change in the number of non-permanent residents were higher than the average of fourth quarters of the previous five years, while immigration, emigration and net interprovincial migration were lower.

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