Population centre has replaced the term urban area formerly used by Statistics Canada. It is an area with a population of at least 1,000 and a density of 400 or more people per square kilometre. All areas outside population centres continue to be defined as rural areas.
Small population centres have a population of between 1,000 and 29,999; medium population centres, 30,000 and 99,999; and large urban population centres, 100,000 and over. The area of the population centre is not necessarily the same geographic area described by the city or municipal boundaries as it includes the more densely populated areas adjacent the population cores that meet the 2016 revised set of criteria and threshold levels.1
1. Statistics Canada. Population Centre and Rural Area Classification 2016 [Internet]. Ottawa. Ministry of Industry; 2017 Feb 8. Available from: www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/subjects/standard/pcrac/2016/introduction