Millennials in the City of Toronto and CMA Are Heading to the Rest of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, but Are Being Replaced by Immigration
By: Diana Petramala
October 30, 2019
Both the Financial Times and the Washington Post reported recently that the populations of several major cities in developed countries – from Paris to New York – are falling as Millennials start heading to the suburbs in search of bigger and more affordable housing. Even in cities where immigration is boosting population, more of the non-immigrant population were leaving them than were being attracted to them.
We were curious about how this “stated” trend played out for the city of Toronto and the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA). Overall, at the time of Statistics Canada’s last population estimate of July 1st, 2018, the city of Toronto appears to have bucked this global trend.
How a metropolitan region and its major cities grow
Outside of births and deaths, a city’s population can grow/shrink in three ways:
- Net intraprovincial migration - net intraprovincial migration is the number of persons from other parts of the province moving to the city less the number of people from the city moving to other parts of the province;
- Net interprovincial migration - net interprovincial migration is the number of persons from other provinces moving to the city less the number of people from the city moving to other provinces; and/or
- Net immigration - net immigration is the number of persons moving to the city from other countries less the number of people from the city moving to other countries - on a permanent or temporary (e.g. students, refugees or anyone coming to Canada through the new Global Talent Program) basis.
Both the city of Toronto and the CMA lost population to other parts of the province according to the 2018 estimates, but growth from net immigration swamped this net domestic outflow
The latest population estimates from Statistics Canada show that, much like the case in other major global cities, between July 1st 2017 and July 1st 2018 more non-immigrant persons left the city of Toronto and the Toronto CMA for other cities in Ontario than moved to the region from within the province (see Figure 1).
However, population growth in the city and the CMA from sources outside the province swamped the outflow from net intraprovincial migration. The combination of net immigration and net interprovincial migration attracted three times as many people as were leaving for the suburbs in both the city of Toronto and the CMA.