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North’s population in decline, says Statistics Canada

Greater Sudbury is the only major Northern city to see growth over the last five years.
Statistics Canada released population numbers on Feb. 8, including those for Northern Ontario.

Greater Sudbury is the only Northern Ontario city to see a growth in population in the last five years, according to Statistics Canada.

The federal government released population numbers from the 2016 Census Program on Feb. 8, and it reveals information that probably isn’t a surprise to most: Northern Ontario’s population is on the decline.

Sudbury’s population grew by 0.8 per cent since the last head count in 2011, bringing the city's population to 161,531 people.

The growth was small, but the Nickel City is the only major city in Northern Ontario to see its population grow in the past five years.

The population of Sault Ste. Marie fell 2.4 per cent to 73,368 people, the numbers show. In 2011, 75,141 people called the Soo home.

Elliot Lake saw the biggest shrinkage in population, falling 5.3 per cent, while Timmins fell 3.2 per cent and North Bay dropped 2.6 per cent.

The population of Thunder Bay stayed basically the same at 121,621 people.

Between 2011 and 2016, Canada as a whole grew by 5 per cent. Today, 35,151,728 people call the land of the maple leaf home.

Statistics Canada will release more figures throughout 2017, including those related to families, households and marital status, immigration, and labour.

The next round will pertain to age and sex, and type of dwelling, and will be released on May 3.