Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge is the 10th most populated metropolitan area in Canada. It is a tri-city located in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. In 2016, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge area was rated as the ebay area to find a full-time job. 

Population and Demographics

Based on the 2016 census, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge metropolitan area has a population of 523,894, which grew 5.5% from its population in the 2011 census. It has a population density of 480.1 per square kilometre. 

Majority of the population are working age at 67.9% or 355,650 between the ages of 15 to 64 years. This is followed by 17.6% or 92,390 between the ages of 0 to 14 years, and 14.5% or 75,860 over the age of 65 years. The average age of the population is 39.2 with a median age of 38.6.

The most common type of dwelling is a single-detached house with 110,670 of the population living in this type of dwelling, and the least common is movable dwelling with only 200 of the population inhabiting a movable dwelling. The average household size in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge is 2.6.

Majority of the population are married or living common law with 251,105o over the age of 15 belonging in this category. There are 180,400 in the population who are not or never married. There are 123,105 couple families, and 23,820 lone-parent families, majority of which are females. There are 18,995 lone-female parents, and 4,825 lone-male parents. 

Here are the top ethnic origins in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge by country of birth.

  1. Canada – 385,710
  2. America – 19,775
  3. Europe – 52,970
  4. Africa – 8,020
  5. Asia – 49,155
  6. Oceania – 455

Here is the breakdown of mother tongue use in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge.

  1. English – 387,205
  2. French – 5,995
  3. Aboriginal language – 35
  4. Other language – 120,615
  5. Multiple languages – 10,040

Immigrant Population

There are 118,610 immigrants in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge based on the 2016 census. The most number of immigrants come from the UK. Here are the top five immigrant populations in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge based on country of birth.

  1. United Kingdom – 11,245
  2. India – 8,575
  3. Portugal – 7,160
  4. China – 6,380
  5. Romania – 5,105

Recent immigrants that came from 2011 to 2016 show the most number of immigrants coming from these top five countries. 

  1. India – 1,835
  2. China – 1,395
  3. Syria – 1,055
  4. Iraq – 850
  5. Pakistan – 625

Spanish is the most common language used by the immigrants in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge. Here are the top three most used languages by the overall immigrant population. 

  1. Spanish – 4,980
  2. Mandarin – 4,660
  3. Arabic – 4,605

Recent immigrants from 2011 to 2016 still show the same languages but in different order.

  1. Arabic – 2,060
  2. Mandarin – 1,160
  3. Spanish – 720

Brief History

The Regional Municipality of Waterloo was formed in 1973 when the twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo combined with several communities including the city of Cambridge, making the region a tri-city.

Mississauga owned the land area in the Grand River Valley before 1784, which was then purchased by the British in 1798 and gifted to its Six Nations allies. Parts of the land were sold and Pennsylvania Mennonites purchased land in 1803 that became Waterloo Township in 1816. The population increased with immigration as a result of the economy’s growth. 

Today the Regional Municipality of Waterloo still bears witness to its history with its diverse and vibrant cities and attractions. 

Top 3 Things To Do

There are plenty of things you can do in the tri-city of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge. Here are top three things you can do with a site included in each city based on crowd favorites in TripAdvisor.

  1. Huron Natural Area

Huron Natural Area is the biggest nature reserve in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge. The site has hiking trails, nature playgrounds, viewing decks, and an abundance of nature to see and explore. Huron Natural Area, located in Kitchener, aims to “transform Huron Natural Area into a space that represents Indigenous communities, arts and culture.” 

  1. Waterloo Park

An animal farm, a lake, picnic areas, sports fields, playgrounds and more… What more can you ask for? You will never run out of things to do in Waterloo Park, which is considered as the jewel of Waterloo City. 

  1. Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory

If butterflies are your thing, Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a must-visit. There are thousands of free-flying butterflies in all shapes, sizes and colors. There are also galleries where you can witness mounted displays of butterflies and other insects, you can also witness butterflies emerge from their pupas and take their first flights.

Top 3 Industries

The municipal area of Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge has been experiencing significant commercial growth through the years. Here are the key industries that powers the region’s economy.

  1. Advanced Manufacturing

Manufacturing has always been one of the biggest industries in the Waterloo Region. This sector has seen continued growth for over a century, and today the region has become a global leader in advanced manufacturing. Over 1,800 manufacturing companies in different specialties like automotive, robotics, aerospace and more call the Waterloo Region their home. 

  1. Aerospace

The manufacturing of aerospace products and parts is one of the biggest industries in the Waterloo Region. The region is strategically located for the faster distribution of products and logistical requirements. The Waterloo Region is the country’s major market in the aerospace export business. 

  1. Automotive

Automotive manufacturing is one of the biggest industries in the Waterloo Region. Some of the biggest automotive companies in the region are Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc., Rockwell Automation Inc., Mitchell Plastics/Ultra Manufacturing Ltd., ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc., and Bend All Automotive Incorporated.

Cost of Living

The cost of living for the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge are about the same. Here’s a table comparing the prices for basic necessities in the three cities with figures lifted from




One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

$ 1,152.63 

$ 1,375.00 

$ 1,224.75 

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

$ 1,805.00 

$ 2,083.33 

$ 1,725.00 

Basic utilities


Monthly transportation pass

$ 90.00 

$ 90.00 

$ 86.00 

1 litre gas

$ 1.09 

$ 1.06 

$ 1.08 

Meal at inexpensive restaurant

Meal for 2 at mid range restaurant
$ 70.00 

1 litre of milk

500g white loaf bread

$ 2.99 

$ 2.82 

1 kg rice

1 dozen eggs

$ 3.23 

$ 3.03 

$ 3.38 

1 kg chicken fillets

$ 11.57 

$ 13.00 

$ 13.00 

Employment Rate

Based on the 2016 census, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge metropolitan area has a participation rate of 68.5%. The employment rate in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge is 64.1%, and the unemployment rate is 6.4%. 

Here are the five most common occupations in Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge and the corresponding percentage of the labor force who work in the listed occupation. 

  1. Sales and service occupations – 22
  2. Business, finance and administration occupations – 15
  3. Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations – 14
  4. Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services – 11
  5. Management occupations – 10

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