"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Population observation (II)

But, regardless of St. John’s or the St. John’s metro area’s relative share of the provincial population, it’s still one of the most demographically dominant cities, compared to its province, of any in Canada, right?


In fact, Newfoundland and Labrador is still among the provinces which are demographically the LEAST dominated by their largest city or largest metropolitan area.

Few Canadian cities are as dominant within their province as Winnipeg. The city itself has 55% of Manitoba’s population; the metropolitan area (which Winnipeg also constitutes nearly all of) is 60% of Manitoba.

The Vancouver metropolitan area is the only other which contains more than half of the provincial population, 51.5% in the last census. This is due to the sprawling Lower Mainland suburbs, as Vancouver itself, with little over a quarter of the metropolitan population, constitutes just 14% of British Columbia.

Number three in the dominance rankings is metropolitan Montreal, which has a nudge under half (48%) of Quebec’s population. Montreal itself is home to 21% of Quebecers.

On the other end of the scale, New Brunswick’s three-city urban structure makes for an interesting demographic pattern, which the political capital, Fredericton, doesn’t figure into. New Brunswick’s largest city, the industrial capital of Saint John, is home to less than one in ten New Brunswickers. However, unlike the largest cities in every other province, Saint John is not the core of New Brunswick’s largest urban area. That title falls instead to Moncton, the commercial capital, which together with its suburbs and exurbs, constitute 17% of New Brunswick.

Another province with divided urban functions is Saskatchewan. Metro Saskatoon, which is not the capital, has 24% of the provincial population (21% in the city itself), ranking ninth for provincial domination. Next door in Alberta, where the same pattern repeats: non-capital Calgary has only 33% of Alberta within its metropolitan boundaries, placing it eighth in the rankings. Calgary city itself, with 30% of Alberta’s population, ranks third among cities proper, again reflecting the tendency of Prairie urban agglomerations to be almost entirely contained within one municipality.)

Among province-dominant municipalities, St. John’s city, with approximately 20% of the provincial population, ranks eighth in the domination rankings. Including the suburban municipalities, St. John’s CMA rises one spot to seventh. Almost every other “largest city” or “largest metro” in Canada has a larger share of its provincial population than St. John’s. Or, expressed the other way, in only two or three other provinces is the population outside the centre of the universe numerically more important than in Newfoundland and Labrador.



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