If you’ve ever wondered exactly how many people have been born, or have died, in Canada in the last 24hours, or wanted to know the exact population at any given minute in Quebec, Manitoba or Nunavut, I have great news for you! Canada's population changes every minute and you can watch it happen.
The online population tool from Statistics Canada allows users to take a real-time glimpse into what is going on in the country, minute-by-minute. The so-called “population clock” uses Statistics Canada data to visually present Canada’s major demographic trends, which includes births, deaths, immigration and emigration.
Using the website is pretty crazy, as you can watch second-by-second how the country is changing. Simple, coloured bar charts represent how many people are being born, passing away, immigrating into the country and emigrating out, all moving at any given moment.
Of course, the government isn’t tracking every person in the country at every moment to maintain the statistics, but StatCan senior analyst, Patrick Charbonneau, told rdnewsNOW that it’s the most accurate way to measure the population. He said the website is based on StatCan’s latest estimates, which are updated regularly, and the numbers are based on a “really robust methodology.”
He said “The counts that are shown in the population clock are strictly for visualization purposes, to give Canadians a sense of how fast the population is changing. It’s more of a learning tool than a decision-making tool.”
The tool was first launched just after Canada Day last year, with the aim of increasing “statistical literacy” in the general population. Charbonneau believes that it is important for Canadians to have a sense of how the population is changing and moving, so they have a greater understanding of the country they are living in.
Howard Ramos, a professor of sociology at Dalhousie University, agrees, suggesting it is important for Canadians to maintain an interest in the demographics of the country you love.
“I think that a lot of Canadians would even be surprised by the overall population — we’re now at 37 and a half million people,” Howard said. “I think a lot of people’s notion of how big we are or how populated we are is often frozen by what they got in high school social studies.”
Ramos also believes the website is a great way for Canadians to learn, well, about Canada. “This is a great way for us to get to know who we are,” he said. He noted that often people who live in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, may not know what life is like in the Yukon, or in Cape Breton, or in the Prairies.
“These kinds of tools allow us to begin to see what those places look like, and begin to imagine them,” he said.
To take a look at Canada's every-changing statistics, you can head to the website here.