Population Distribution by Income Bracket
Ottawa has a high proportion of relatively wealthy households. In fact, among the 6 largest cities in Canada, Ottawa and Calgary, have the highest proportion of households with an after-tax income over $100,000 in 2011. Compared to 39% here and in Calgary, Edmonton had 36%, Toronto 31%, Vancouver 29% and Montreal 19%. Moreover, compared to those same cities, Ottawa had the smallest proportion of households earning less than $40,000.
- Statistics Canada. National Household Survey 2011. This data was accessed through the Ottawa Region Data Consortium.
Population Distribution by Age
Ottawa's age demographics reflect the broader societal reality of an aging population. Fifty years ago, the proportion of Ottawa's population under the age of 19 was 40%, compared to 22% in 2016. Those over 65 made up about 7% of the City's population, compared to 15% in 2016. The proportion of residents over 65 is projected to grow to 20% by 2031.
- City of Ottawa 2010. A Portrait of Ottawa Older Adults:Demographic and Socio-Economic Characteristics. Accessed April 11, 2006
- City of Ottawa 2006. Long Range Financial Plan 3. Accessed April 11, 2006
- McKinsey Global Institute. Urban world: Mapping the economic power of cities. March 2011.
- Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 051-0056
- Statistics Canada 2014. The Daily. Population projections: Canada, the provinces and territories - 2013 to 2063. Accessed April 11, 2016
Birthplace of Ottawa's Immigrants
As of 2011, the population of Ottawa included over 204,000 immigrants. By individual country of origin, the United Kingdom remains the birthplace of the largest proportion of Ottawa's immigrants. But taking a regional perspective, 43% of Ottawa's immigrant population was born in Asia or the Middle East. Most of these immigrants are from China, followed by Lebanon and India. Europe is the birthplace of the next largest segment, at 28%. Though the city’s immigrant population has grown significantly in the past decade, Ottawa is far from a top destination of choice for new immigrants to Canada.
- Bonikowska A., Hou, F., and Picot G. Changes in the Regional Distribution of New Immigrants to Canada. Statistics Canada. 2015.
- Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation 2011. Population. Accessed April 11, 2016
- Statistics Canada. National Household Survey 2011. Provided through the Ottawa Region Data Consortium
Mother Tongue of Ottawa Residents
At 14% in 2011, the proportion of residents with French as a mother tongue is significantly higher in Ottawa than in all other major Canadian cities except Montreal. On the other hand, the proportion of Ottawa residents who reported a mother tongue other than English or French is 21%, compared to 45% for Toronto and Vancouver, 33% for Montreal, and 27% for Calgary.
- Statistics Canada 2011. Focus on Geography Series, Ottawa. Accessed April 11, 2016
Knowledge of Official Languages
Ottawa is a relatively bilingual city, with 45% of the population claiming knowledge of both official languages. This compares to 8% for Toronto and 7% for Vancouver and Calgary. Unilingual English speakers comprise 46% of Ottawa's population, compared to 88% in Toronto and 91% in Calgary. Unilingual French speakers make up 9% of Ottawa's population, compared to 0.1% for Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
- Statistics Canada 2011. Visual Census - Language. Ottawa - Gatinueau. Accessed April 11, 2016
Geographic Distribution of Population
With an area of almost 2800 square km following amalgamation in 2000, the City of Ottawa is geographically by far the largest of Canada’s major cities. About 90% of this land is rural, strongly influencing the character and potential of the City. Yet 55% of Ottawa’s population is urban, 35% suburban, and only 10% rural. Depending on the City's success in focusing intensification on priority areas, proportionately more dwelling units should be built in the urban areas, leading to growth in the relative size of the urban population.