To advance and promote the discipline and professional practice of epidemiology in Ontario public health units
Please click here to visit our new website




1 Projected Population Growth

Description | Specific Indicators |Ontario Public Health Standards | Corresponding Health Indicators from Statistics Canada and CIHI | Data Sources | Analysis Check List | Method of Calculation | Basic Categories | Indicator Comments | Definitions | Cross-References to Other Sections | References


  • Ratio of the difference between the projected population at the end of the period and the population at the beginning of the period relative to the population at the beginning of the period. Use for predicted future population growth.

Specific Indicators

  • Projected overall population growth

Ontario Public Health Standards

The Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) establish requirements for the fundamental public health programs and services carried out by boards of health, which include assessment and surveillance, health promotion and policy development, disease and injury prevention, and health protection. The OPHS consist of one Foundational Standard and 13 Program Standards that articulate broad societal goals that result from the activities undertaken by boards of health and many others, including community partners, non-governmental organizations, and governmental bodies. These results have been expressed in terms of two levels of outcomes: societal outcomes and board of health outcomes. Societal outcomes entail changes in health status, organizations, systems, norms, policies, environments, and practices and result from the work of many sectors of society, including boards of health, for the improvement of the overall health of the population. Board of health outcomes are the results of endeavours by boards of health and often focus on changes in awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills, practices, environments, and policies. Boards of health are accountable for these outcomes. The standards also outline the requirements that boards of health must implement to achieve the stated results.  

Assessment and/or Surveillance Requirements Related to this Indicator
·         The board of health shall assess current health status, health behaviours, preventive health practices, health care utilization relevant to public health, and demographic indicators in accordance with the Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2008 (or as current) (Foundational Standard) 

Protocol Requirements Related to this Indicator
·         The board of health shall collect or access the following types of population health data and information: Socio-demographics including population counts by age, sex… (Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 1b)

Corresponding Health Indicator(s) from Statistics Canada and CIHI

The internet publication Health Indicators, produced jointly by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, provides over 80 indicators measuring the health of the Canadian population and the effectiveness of the health care system. Designed to provide comparable information at the health region and provincial/territorial levels, these data are produced from a wide range of the most recently available sources. A pdf copy of this report can be found on CIHI’s website ( under Research and Reports or under the PDF tab on the Statistics Canada web-page at 

·         None

Data Sources (see Resources: Population Projections)
Population Projections
Numerator & Denominator:
Population Projections
Original source: Ontario Ministry of Finance
Distributed by: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care: IntelliHEALTH Ontario
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
Population Projections [years], Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, IntelliHEALTH Ontario, Date Extracted [date]

Analysis Check List

  • Population projections must be used for the populations at the start and at the end of the period of interest.  This comparison is incorrect if the population estimate, rather than the projection, is used for the beginning of the period even if it is available
  • Population projections are not available at the public health unit or census subdivision level. County will align with public health unit boundaries for some health units in Ontario but not for others.
  • For more details about the methodology and assumptions in the calculation in the measures that are used in this indicator, refer to the Data Sources resources.

Method of Calculation

{{{projected~population~at~end~of period}-{projected~population~at~beginning~of~period}}/{projected~population~at~beginning~of~period}}~*~{100%}


delim{[}{{{projected~population~at~end~of period}/{projected~population~at~beginning~of~period}}~-~1}{]}~*~{100%}

Basic Categories

  • Age groupings available in pre-defined reports are: infant (<1 year), 5-year age groups, 90+. Age groups can be drilled down to single year of age.
  • Sex: male, female and total.
  • Geographic areas of residence: province, County, and LHIN.

Indicator Comments

  • Represented as a percentage.
  • When the rate is negative, the population is projected to decline, while a positive rate indicates projected growth.
  • Population growth or decline can be further analyzed using the three determinants of population change: births, deaths and migrations (if available).
  •  A projected growth rate of zero means that the net difference between projected births, deaths and migration is zero, not that there are no expected changes in the population.
  • Population projections should be used cautiously. The risk of inaccuracy of the projection increases if projections are used for specific age groups, small geographic areas, or to look too far into the future.
  • When using IntelliHEALTH, the date of the data source can be found in the Notes section of the prepared projection reports.
  • Population projections are founded on assumptions about births, deaths and migration over the projection period. Assumptions are based on the analysis of long-term and recent trends of these components, as well as expectations of future direction. For Ontario, the degree of uncertainty inherent in projections is represented by the range between the low- and high-groth scanarios, with the reference scenario representing the most likely outcome. The projections in IntelliHEALTH use the reference, or medium-growth scnario.
  • Population projections contain the projected population of Ontario as of July 1 each year by sex, and single year of age up to 90+. The Ontario Ministry of Finance (MOF) produces projects [sic.] at the CD (County) or LHIN level. MOF uses the most recent population estimates released by Statistics Canada as the basis for its projections. (1)
  • Because population projections are based on a growth scenario adjusted for varying low to high growth scenarios rather than estimates, which are based on census, migration and vital statistics, when projecting future population growth, you should always use a population growth figure as a denominator for your estimated growth (that is, do not use a population estimate as a denominator and a population projection as a numerator—estimates should be used with estimates to gauge REAL population growth and projections should be used with projections to gauge PROJECTED population growth.


Sex - refers to whether the person was classified as male or female (either through self-identification or recoding by Statistics Canada).
Age - refers to the age of a person (or subject) of interest at last birthday (or relative to a specified, well-defined reference date).
For definitions of geographic basic areas see

Cross-References to Other Sections

(1) Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (2012). IntelliHEALTH (02) Populations User Guide Version 1.0. Available online (after login) at

Changes Made


Type of Review (Formal Review or Ad Hoc?)

Changes made by


May 2010

Formal review

Social Determinants of Health sub-group

  • New section on OPHS added
  • Corresponding Health Indicators from Statistics Canada and CIHI added
  • Data source information updated to reflect use of IntelliHEALTH Ontario
  • Alternative Data Sources updated to include CANSIM tables
  • Basic Categories section revised to reflect categories available through IntelliHEALTH Ontario
  • Indicator comments updated to include issues related to the use of IntelliHEALTH as a data source
  • Definitions added
 May 2014 Update Social Determinants of Health sub-group Added indicator comments describing the assumptions made when projecting populations, and why projections should be compared with projections when estimating future projected population growth


Lead Author(s)
Nancy Ramuscak, Region of Peel Public Health
Cam McDermaid, Ottawa Public Health
Luanne Jamieson, Hamilton Public Health Services
Virginia McFarland, Grey Bruce Health Unit
Alissa Palangio, Sudbury and District Health Unit
William Kou, York Region Community and Health Services 

Contributing Author(s)
Core Indicator Reviewers
External Reviewers
Carol Paul, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Jessica Deming, Region of Waterloo Public Health
Mike Delorme, Region of Waterloo Public Health

Date of Last Revision: May 9, 2014.

Treasurer/Secretary | Admin | Members Login