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10 Population Projections

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]

Data Notes

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) produces detailed population projections for the 30-year period following every Census. In addition they update these projections on a regular basis based on the most recent post-censal population estimates. Projections are available via Intellihealth at the provincial, LHIN, and County level. The source date of the IntelliHEALTH projections can be found in the Notes tab of the prepared projection reports.

  • The MOF projections are developed to provide Ontario's ministries, municipalities and other interested users an outlook of population growth for Ontario and its 49 Census Divisions based on a standard demographic methodology.  The methodology used in Ministry of Finance long-term population projections is the cohort-component method, essentially a demographic accounting system. The calculation starts with the base-year population (2009) distributed by age and sex.
  • A separate analysis and projection of each component of population growth is made for each year, starting with births. Then, projections of deaths and the five migration components (immigration, net emigration, net change in non-permanent residents, interprovincial in- and out-migration, and intraprovincial in- and out-migration) are also generated and added to the population cohorts to obtain the population of the subsequent year, by age and sex.
  • This methodology is followed for each of the 49 census divisions. The Ontario-level population is obtained by summing the projected census division populations.
  • The MOF projections are done at the CD level that, in a few cases, do not correspond to the exact geographic area as MOHLTC counties used in the population estimates table.  MOHLTC county estimates are derived from CSD estimates – see the population estimates resource for more details.
  • It should be noted that the population projections are demographic, founded on assumptions about births, deaths and migration over the projection period. Assumptions are based on the analysis of the long-term and the most 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-growth scenarios, with the reference scenario representing the most likely outcome. The projections in IntelliHealth use the reference or medium growth scenario.
  • More details about the assumptions and methodology used for the projections are described in the most recent MOF projections document which can be found at:
  • The methodology for LHIN projections was developed by MOF at the request of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide population projections that can be used for health care system planning at the LHIN level.
  • LHIN projections are based on the most recent population estimates released by Statistics Canada and are consistent with the MOF projections at the county and provincial level.
  • Except in a few cases, LHIN boundaries are not consistent with CD and CSD boundaries.  The methodology for allocating population to LHINs depends on whether/how a LHIN’s boundary splits CDs and/or CSDs and different methods are used to distribute population and its growth to those splits.  MOF provides an updated document1 to the MOHLTC each year that explains the methodology for LHIN population estimates and projections.
  • Local population projections may be available (e.g., public health unit level, municipal level) which use different methods or data sources than those used by Statistics Canada and/or the Ministry of Finance which have been described here.

References and Resources

  1. Population Estimates, 2006−2009, and Projections, 2010−2036, for Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).  Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch, Ministry of Finance, June 2010
  2. Bains N, Ranger R. A comparison of Population Estimates and Population Projections for Eastern Ontario. Health Information Partnership Eastern Ontario Region, 2001
Changes Made


Type of Review (Formal Review or Ad Hoc?)

Changes made by


August 2010

Formal review

Social Determinants of Health sub-group

  • Citations updated
  • Data Notes updated


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 Public Health
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

This page last updated: April 8, 2011
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