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WOW! Toronto Was the Second Fastest Growing Metropolitan Area and the Top Growing City in All of the United States and Canada

By: Frank Clayton and Hong Yun (Eva) Shi

May 31, 2019

There has been a great deal of media coverage regarding the latest population growth estimates for U.S. metropolitan areas and central cities released by the U.S. Census Bureau for the 12 months ending July 1, 2018.

The estimates showed that population declined in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles, both in the metropolitan areas and in the central cities for Chicago and New York City, during the 12 months ending July 1, 2018. The fastest growing metropolitan area in the U.S. was Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, where the population grew by an estimated 131,767 persons in the 12 months ending July 1, 2018.

This blog compares population growth in metropolitan Toronto, Montreal and the City of Toronto with metropolitan areas and central cities south of the border.

In absolute numbers, Toronto was the second fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States and Canada by a wide margin – Montreal was fifth.

Achieving second billing was an amazing feat for our region. Metropolitan Toronto’s growth of 125,298 persons was second only to Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington. Toronto was far ahead of Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, which grew by 96,268 persons. Montreal grew by 66,116 persons (see Figure 1).

The sources of growth for Toronto and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan areas were quite distinct (see Figure 2):

  • For metropolitan Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, births were by far the largest component of growth, followed by net domestic migration and net international migration.
  • In contrast, net international migration (both permanent and temporary residents) was the dominant source of population growth in metropolitan Toronto, followed by births.  Net migration into Toronto from other parts of Canada was very small compared to Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington.

City of Toronto was by far the leading city in population growth among the central cities in the United States and Canada

Population growth in the City of Toronto during the 12 months ending July 1, 2018 was stunning. The City of Toronto population grew by 77,435 persons, exceeding the combined gains of the three fastest growing central cities in the United States. The City of Phoenix (25,288 persons) was a distant second (see Figure 3).

Sources:

Statistics Canada. (n.d.). Table  17-10-0139-01 Population estimates, July 1, by census division, 2016 boundaries. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1710013901

Statistics Canada. (n.d.).  Table  17-10-0136-01   Components of population change by census metropolitan area and census agglomeration, 2016 boundaries. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1710013601

Statistics Canada. (n.d.). Table  17-10-0135-01   Population estimates, July 1, by census metropolitan area and census agglomeration, 2016 boundaries. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1710013501

U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. (April 2019). Estimates of the Components of Resident Population Change: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=PEP_2018_PEPTCOMP&prodType=table

U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. (April 2019). Estimates of Resident Population Change and Rankings: July 1, 2017 to July 1, 2018 - United States -- Metropolitan Statistical Area. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=PEP_2018_PEPANNCHG.US24PR&prodType=table

Census Bureau, Population Division. (May 2019). Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More, Ranked by July 1, 2018 Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk

United States Census Bureau Newsroom. (April 2019). New Census Bureau Estimates Show Counties in South and West Lead Nation in Population Growth. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2019/estimates-county-metro.html

United States Census Bureau Newsroom. (May 2019). Fastest-Growing Cities Primarily in the South and West. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2019/subcounty-population-estimates.html

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Frank Clayton is Senior Research Fellow at Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) in Toronto.

Hong Yun (Eva) Shi is a Research Assistant at Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) in Toronto.

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