|Abstract||A national assessment of the vulnerability of Canadians to coastal processes, hazards and changing climate requires, as one of many inputs, information on spatial patterns and temporal trends in the
coastal population. The Gridded Population of the World dataset (GPW v3 beta) for 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2015 (Future Estimates) and the World Vector Shoreline, are investigated for trends in the global coastal population and to place Canada in the
global context. In 2000, 1.3 billion people lived within 20 km of a marine shoreline with an average density 2.2 times the global average. Between 1990 and 2000, this coastal population grew at a rate of 1.55%/a. Canadian census results|
1991, 1996 and 2000 are analysed to investigate spatial and temporal trends in the population living within 5, 10, 15 and 20 km of the Atlantic, Arctic, Pacific and Great Lakes coasts. In 2001, 11.5 million people (38.3% of the Canadian population)
lived within 20 km of a coast, in a populated area 2.6% of Canada's total area.
Population decreases exponentially with distance from marine coasts and linearly from the Great Lakes coast. Between 1986 and 2001, the Canadian coastal population
grew at a rate of 1.32%/a while total population grew at a rate of 1.24%/a. Population growth rates are decreasing on all coasts, following the national trend towards total population increase, but at a slowing rate. The Atlantic coast is the only
coast experiencing population decrease. The GPW data, analysed only for Canada, show the same trend towards slowed population growth to 2000, but that, by 2015, the trend will have reversed, and the growth rate of the population within 20 km of the
coast will be 2.24 %/a, greater than past census rates.