Population of Canada by Province / Territory

The term largest province in Canada can refer to either the most populous province, or the largest province by territory. The table below includes both.

Province / TerritoryCapitalPopulationProportion
QuebecQuebec City816436123.23%
British ColumbiaVictoria464805513.22%
Nova ScotiaHalifax9235982.63%
New BrunswickFredericton7471012.13%
Newfoundland and LabradorSt John's5197161.48%
Prince Edward IslandCharlottetown1429070.41%
Northwest TerritoriesYellowknife417860.12%

Most populous Province/Territory

The most populous province in Canada is Ontario. In 2016, the population of Ontario was 13,448,494 people – that’s almost four in every ten people who live in Canada – followed by Quebec, with a population of 8,164361.

British Columbia just about hangs on to third place, with 4,648,055, but it is likely to be overtaken by Alberta, currently in fourth place with a population of 4,067,175. This is because Alberta’s population growth rate of 11.6% every five years is more than twice as fast as in British Columbia (5.6%).

The most populous territory in Canada is the Northwest Territories, with a 2016 population of 41,462 people (0.1% of Canada’s population).

The least populous province in Canada is Prince Edward Island, with a 2016 population of 142,907.

The least populous territory in Canada is Yukon, home to 35,874 people.

Largest Province/Territory

The largest province in Canada by area is Quebec, with a total area of 1,365,128 sq km. In total, Quebec covers 15% of the total land area of Canada. Quebec is almost 50% larger than the next largest province, Ontario, which has a total land area of 917,741 sq km.

Neither province comes close to the size of Canada’s largest territory however. Nunavut, in the north of Canada has a total area of 1,936,113 sq km and makes up 21% of Canada’s total area. This makes Nunavut the fifth largest territory or state in the world, after Sakha Republic (Russia, 3,103,200 km2), Western Australia (Australia, 2,615,602 km2), Krasnoyarsk (Russia, 3,339,700) and Greenland (Denmark, 2,166,086).

The table above lists the population of each province and territory in Canada in 2015, its size and its population density.

Source: Statistics Canada.