As the capital of Canada, the City of Ottawa is home to more than one million people and is the fourth largest municipality in the country. With a vibrant technology sector, high median household income and affordable living costs - Ottawa is a great place to live, work and play. The following are some quick facts and an economic overview of Ottawa.
The Planning, Infrastructure, and Economic Development Department tracks population change on a bi-annual basis. These City-derived estimates are based on the 2001 postcensal estimate of population and net new units from issued building permits, changes in rental vacancy and the decline on the persons per unit in existing households.
The City of Ottawa had a mid-year 2019 population of 1,001,077, a 1.6 per cent increase from mid-year 2018.
As reported in the 2016 Census, Ottawa has land area of 2,790 km2. This means that Ottawa is larger than the cities of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montréal combined.
As reported by Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, between 2014 and 2018, the Ottawa CMA’s labour force grew by 2.2 per cent. The number of employed residents also increased 4.54 per cent to reach 557,600. Ottawa CMA’s unemployment rate decreased to 4.6 per cent in 2018, remaining lower than the provincial (5.6 per cent) and national (5.8 per cent) rates.
In 2017, the top five employment sectors in Ottawa CMA were:
- Health and Education (21 per cent)
- Public Administration (21 per cent)
- Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (11 per cent)
- Retail Trade (10 per cent)
- Accomodation and Food services (5 per cent)
The region is recognized for having the highest number of residents with post-secondary education in Canada. The percentage of Ottawa’s population aged 15 years and over with a Postsecondary certificate, diploma or degree is 63.7 per cent. Over 89,000 have Master's degrees and earned doctorates (Ph.Ds).
Ottawa has a highly sought after talent pool. The city boasts the second highest concentration of scientists and engineers in North America and the highest concentration of tech talent in the nation.
The Ottawa Economy
As reported by the Conference Board of Canada, real GDP at basic prices for the Ottawa-Gatineau CMA was at 77,689 (2012 $ millions) in 2018, which is up 2.4 percent from 2017.
As reported in the 2016 Census, the median total family income in 2015 for the City of Ottawa was $109,000. Even though Ottawa has the second-highest family income among major Canadian cities, the city’s average housing costs are affordable. As reported by the Ottawa Real Estate Board, the average housing costs in 2015 in the City of Ottawa was $391,940.