The vast majority of the immigrants of the last decade and their descendants live in the Barriada Nova (New Quarters). However, the members of the immigrant wave in the 1960s and 1970s are gradually moving further into the peripheral districts. Public housing shortages and the high price of private housing are driving young people out of the area, and into municipalities in the same region.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Canovelles saw a dramatic increase and immigration from other parts of Spain – namely from the nearby region of Barcelona. Because of this explosion in population, much of Canovelles’ economy stems from the service sector.
Another major source of regional economy comes from the weekly market held every Sunday, comprised by more than 500 shops. This market focus on the distribution of clothing, electronic devices and fruit.
The first time the term Canovelles appears in a document is in 1008 AD, in a document pertaining to the Abbot of Sant Cugat.
Between the 1950s and the 1970s, many families from Extremadura and Andalusia arrived to the municipality, increasing the population by a factor of twenty. Since the end of the 1990s people from Morocco, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America have been arriving to Canovelles in great numbers.
During the 1970s, clandestine groups of Marxists organized against the Franquist dictatorship, some of them comprised by more than a hundred militants.
Controversial stickers spread around the town criticized the mayor’s increase in pay
A celebration was held in 2008 to celebrate the oldest document (written in 1008) in which a writer mentions the municipality's name.
In 2007, Socialists' Party of Catalonia (PSC) gained an absolute majority in the municipal government under the leadership of José Orive. In 2008, this government approved a thirty percent increase in pay for the mayor and local councillors. This pay increase marked José Orive as an object of controversy when hundreds of stickers criticizing the decision were posted on lampposts and other public objects throughout the municipality. After these stickers had been up for two days, the municipal government paid a cleaning company to remove them.