"Despite still showing overall positive population growth," Statistics Canada writes, the census metropolitan areas "of Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver continued to see more people moving out to other regions of their province rather than moving in."
More people are opting to live outside of Canada's largest urban centres, which is contributing to ongoing urban sprawl.
The federal agency says 24,880 people moved out of the Montreal CMA in favour of other regions in the one-year period.
Municipalities outside the CMA experienced rapid population growth partly as a result.
Farnham and Saint-Hippolyte, Quebec, for example, posted 5.2% growth and 4.1% growth, respectively.
The fastest-growing municipalities in Montreal's CMA include Mirabel on the North Shore, posting a 3.6% population growth rate, according to Statistics Canada.
As of July 1, 2020, seven in 10 Canadians live in a CMA.
Population growth in CMAs slowed during the same one-year period to 1.3% overall growth.
Statistics Canada noted that "rapidly increasing housing costs" in city centres are among the main reasons for continuing urban sprawl.
"Personal health, the ability to work remotely, and higher housing costs are among the most important factors contributing to the decision of many Canadians to continue living in large urban centres hardest hit by the pandemic," Statistics Canada claimed.
"Whatever the exact reasons, urban sprawl is an important trend to monitor."