Niagara Facts

The Niagara region, comprised of 12 local area municipalities and a regional municipality, is a peninsula surrounded by Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and the Niagara River.

The 12 local municipalities include Fort Erie, Pelham, Grimsby, Lincoln, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Colborne, St. Catharines, Thorold, Wainfleet, Welland and West Lincoln.

Niagara’s “open for business” attitude and our many assets – tangible and intangible alike – make it an ideal location for site selection. We invite you to share your vision with the economic development experts that make up Team Niagara. You’ll be surprised what Niagara has to offer.

Below is a compilation of quick facts about the Niagara region.

Demographic Facts

Population (2016):  447,888
Labour force (2016 estimate):  229,600
Unemployment rate (Mar. 2017):  6.4% 
Employment rate (Mar. 2017):  57.0%
Participating rate (Mar. 2017):  60.9%
Post-secondary education (25 to 64 years): 59.0%
Total private dwellings (2016):  183,825
Population density (2016):  241.5 per square kilometer

Economic Facts

GDP (2016; basic prices):  $14.609 billion (CAD)
CPI (2016; 2002=1.0):  1.274
Average weekly earnings (2016): $831
Retail sales (2016):  $5.347 billion (CAD)
Total employer businesses (2016):  12,448

Top 5 sectors by employment (2016): 

  • Retail trade (27,035 jobs)
  • Accommodation and food services (23,350 jobs)
  • Health care and social services (23,080 jobs) 
  • Manufacturing (17,170 jobs) 
  • Construction (14,850 jobs)  
Top 5 sectors by employment growth rate (2011 to 2016):
  • Professional, scientific and technical services (22.0%)
  • Real estate, rental and leasing (16.1%)
  • Accommodation and food services (7%)
  • Transportation and Warehousing (6.9%)
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation (5.3%)

Trade Facts

Truck crossings at US/Canada borders in Niagara, both ways (2015):  947,230
Vehicle crossings at US/Canada borders in Niagara, both ways (2015):  4,902,293
Total people crossing at US/Canada border in Niagara, both ways (2015):  10,488,585
Value of goods (CAD) traded between US/Canada crossing at Niagara borders, both ways (2015):  $107.3 billion Value of goods from Canada exported (CAD) at Niagara borders (2015):  $49.1 billion
Value of goods (CAD) from the US imported at Niagara borders (2015):  $56.3 billion
Share of total goods traded between US/Canada through Niagara borders (2015):  13.6%
Welland Canal economic impact (CAD) in Niagara (2015):  $275.2 million

Tourism Facts


Total visits (2014):  12,666,900
Total overnight stays (2014):  4,684,400
Total same-day visits (2014):  7,982,500
Total visitor spending (CAD) (2014):  $1.94 billion 


Niagara selected as host community for Canada Summer Games 2021
Niagara This Week by Scott Rosts
TORONTO — The nation’s eyes will be on this region four summers from now, with the stunning news out of Toronto today that Niagara’s bid to land the 2021 Canada Summer Games has won.

Local dignitaries including Regional Chair Alan Caslin and Doug Hamilton, the volunteer chair of Niagara’s games big committee, were at the University of Toronto to hear the games council announce that Niagara’s bid has been selected the winner over competing bids from Sudbury, Ottawa and a heavyweight partnership of Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph and Cambridge.

In an interview after the announcement Regional Chair Alan Caslin said the region’s unity — including regional politicians committing $10.3 million toward the games — was one of the key facets that likely stood out in Niagara’s bid.

Province antes up for Niagara Falls Hospital
St. Catharines Standard by Allan Benner
Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati arrived at Queen’s Park Thursday with “great expectations.”

After being invited by Premier Kathleen Wynne to visit the provincial legislature for Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa’s 2017 budget announcement, he suspected that funding for that long-awaited hospital could be a reality.

But he couldn’t be sure until he saw “Niagara” on page 81 of the budget book he was given, listed as an Ontario community that would benefit from $9 billion earmarked for the construction new hospitals during the next decade.

“Until you see it in print, you don’t really believe it,” he said. “It was a feeling of both relief and excitement at the same time.”


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