Rural Canada is geographically, economically, socially and culturally diverse. The variation between different rural areas is significant, sometimes more significant than the differences between urban and rural areas as a whole.

'Rural' refers to towns or municipalities outside the commuting zone of larger urban centres (with 10,000 or more population).

95% of Canada’s land area is rural. Rural Canada is characterized by distance (e.g. to markets, services) and low population and business density.

5.9 million citizens comprising 19% of Canada’s population in 4,470 communities.

The percent of population that is rural varies by province: N.L. (54%); P.E.I. (45%); N.B. (42%); Sask. (40%); N.S. (36%); Man. (32%); Alta. (21%); Que. (20%); B.C. (13%); Ont. (12%). Quebec has the largest rural population (1.49 million).

Urbanization continuing: rural comprised 20.7% of Canada’s population in 1996; 19.7% in 2001; and 18.9% in 2006.




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Rural Fact

Although rural Canada's population is generally older (median age 42.1) than the population of urban Canada (median age 38.9), rural remote areas in Territories are much younger (median age 27.6) due to an...