Economic Growth

The Waterloo Region is economically diverse, increasingly focused on exporting and is globally-oriented. Industry leaders such as Toyota, Rimowa, BlackBerry, COM DEV, Christie Digital, OpenText, Desire2Learn, AGFA, SAP and Google have a strong presence in this region as it offers access to markets, highly educated workforce, urban flair and a high standard of living.

Economic Structure

  • $22.1 billion GDP, with a 3.9% increase from 2011 to 2012.
  • One of Canada’s most manufacturing-intensive economies; approx. 20% of employed population (2012).
  • Major economic sectors: Information & Communications Technology, Automotive, Advanced Manufacturing, Business and Financial Services.
  • Emerging economic sectors: Health Sciences, Environmental, Nanotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Renewable Energy, Food and Beverage.
  • Waterloo Region has a $30 billion tech industry.
  • Over 150 research institutes and more than 4 times the national of patents per million.
  • Major export markets include the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Germany and Japan. Major sources of foreign investment include the United States, Netherlands, Germany, U.K., France and Japan.

Demographic Benchmarks

  • Canada’s 10th and Ontario’s 4th largest urban population (2013).
  • One of Canada’s fastest growing communities, with a population of 507,096 people that is expected to reach 742,000 people by 2031.
  • Skilled and talented workforce of 296,700 (2012).
  • 79,000 post-secondary students, including 20,500 co-operative education students.
  • Annual unemployment rate of 7.0% (June 2013).
  • A community where 80% of people live less than 30 minutes from work.
  • A multicultural community attracting new people from around the world – more than 23% of the population are immigrants (2013).
  • Personal income Per Capita $39,173 (2012).