New Westminster's population density has crept up past 5,000 people per square kilometre – eclipsing both Toronto and Montreal and second only to Vancouver among the most dense urban areas in Canada.
That finding was part of 2021 census data released today by Statistics Canada.
With a population of 78,916 and a land area of just 15.62 square kilometres, New West now has 5,052.4 people per square kilometre.
By comparison, Vancouver has 5,749.9, while Canada's two other biggest cities, Toronto and Montreal, come in at 4,427.8 and 4,833.5, respectively.
New Westminster's population is up 11.2% over 2016, when the census showed 70,996 residents. Its 2021 population makes it the 17th-largest city in B.C. and the 77th-largest in Canada.
The city's population is growing faster than most municipalities in Metro Vancouver. Its five-year growth was only eclipsed by both Langleys: the district municipality at 13.1% and the city at 11.9%.
Maple Ridge, at 10.6%, and White Rock, at 10.0%, round out the list of the fastest-growing municipalities in the region based on population change between 2016 and 2021.