GTA population expected to surpass 10 million in next 26 years

Feb 4 2020, 10:02 am

You may already feel like a sardine in a can during your morning commute, but a projection by the Province of Ontario says those crowds aren’t likely to dissipate any time soon.

In fact, they’re expected to grow.

And, according to the numbers, that growth is expected to bring the GTA’s population over 10 million in 26 years. The region is projected to be the fastest growing in all of Ontario, with the population increasing by 49.6%, from 3.4 million in 2018 to 10.2 million in 2046.

“The GTA’s share of provincial population is projected to rise from 47.8% in 2018 to 51.8% in 2046,” says the document, titled Ontario Population Projections, 2018-2046.

Ontario Population Projections, 2018–2046

Toronto, specifically, is projected to see a rise in population from 2.96 million in 2018 to 4.27 million in 2046. That’s an increase of 44.5%.

Growth in areas like Durham, Halton, Peel, and York is expected to be significantly faster than the province’s average — 38% — with 2.1 million more people entering the population of the suburban GTA. Peel, in particular, is projected to see a 68.7% rise, with its population increasing by more than 1 million people from 2018 to 2046.

There are a series of factors that will influence the population changes, the projection says, with interprovincial migration serving as one major component.

While Ontario draws in many people from other provinces, the last thirty years have shown “several years of gains followed by several years of losses,” which, the province says, is usually connected to economic cycles.

Other factors include fertility and life expectancy, the latter of which is projected to increase by 2046. By that year, the life expectancy for males is projected to reach 86 years, and for females, 88.5 — currently the average is 79.2 and 83.6 respectively.

In terms of fertility rates, the projection says that those have shown a slower pace of increase in recent years, compared to moderate rises in the ’90s and 2000s. The province’s total fertility rate was reportedly 3.8 children per woman around 1960, and dropped to 2.1 children per woman in ’72.

Later in the 70s, it fell to the range 0f 1.5-1.65, “where it has been hovering ever since.” The report says that the rates of the 50s and 60s are unlikely to return.

So while your apartment building isn’t likely to be overtaken by crying newborns in the next couple of decades, there probably won’t be an overflow of empty seats on the TTC, either.