According to Statistics Canada (Feb. 26, 2014), approximately seventy (69.7%) percent of the Canadian population lives in a census metropolitan area (CMA). That means 24,517,700 people called “city” home. Canada’s three largest CMAs together (Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver) were home to more than thirty-five (35.2%) percent of Canadians.
The four fastest growing CMAs were in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Calgary is experiencing the fastest growth (+4.3%) but is followed closely by Saskatoon (+3.9%), Edmonton (+3.8%) and Regina (+3.1%). Alberta’s non-CMA regions also experienced growth (2.3%) between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013.
Stats Canada reports, “In each of the eight most populated CMAs, international migration was the main driver of population growth. On the other hand, in most CMAs with populations under 200,000, the largest part of the population growth was explained by intraprovincial migration.”
Another interesting statistic for readers living in western Canada is that Abbotsford-Mission has the largest proportion of people under the age of 15 (18.4%) while Calgary has the smallest proportion of seniors (9.9%).
So, these questions raise some obvious questions:
- What are urban congregations doing to connect with their new urban neighbours?
- What discipling process needs to take place to train Jesus’ followers for this mission opportunity?
- What kind of training is being done in your congregation so that followers of Jesus can welcome their international neighbours? How are you getting to know the needs of your neighbours so that you might be of service to them?
- If you are a member of a denomination, what denominational resources are being used to enhance the outreach of urban churches or to birth new congregations or missional communities? How are your seminaries and Bible colleges preparing students for urban outreach?