Issue 18-11: Sub-provincial Population Estimates

January 17, 2018

B.C. Regional Districts

At the provincial level, the B.C. population was an estimated at 4,817,160 as of July 1, 2017. The B.C. population grew by 1.3% between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017—an increase of over 59,500 persons.

The Bulkley-Nechako (+11.7%) and Okanagan-Similkameen (+8.3%) regional districts experienced the highest relative growth between 2016 and 2017 followed by Squamish-Lillooet (+3.5%) and Columbia-Shuswap (+2.8%) regional districts.

Percentage Change 2016 to 2017

In absolute terms, the Metro Vancouver Regional District saw the largest increase in population in the twelve months ending June 30, 2017 (+29,247), followed by the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District (+6,673). In contrast, Stikine (−3.6%) and North Coast (−2.7%) continue to show population decreases, losing a combined 1,052 persons during the same reference period. The Metro Vancouver Regional District has seen growth of 9.2% in the six years since 2011.

B.C. Municipalities

Among the larger municipalities—those with at least 5,000 persons—the City of Salmon Arm (+9.3%) and the City of Penticton (+6.4%) saw the largest relative increases in population since July 1, 2016. In absolute terms, Surrey continued to attract the most newcomers between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 (+9,713 persons or +1.8%).

Other large (5,000+ persons) municipalities that experienced high relative growth during the past year include the town of Ladysmith (+5.9%), the City of Langford (+4.4%) and the District Municipality of Squamish (+4.3%).

For smaller municipalities with populations fewer than 5,000 people, Slocan (+11.7%), Taylor (+7.6%) and Ucluelet (+7.1%) reported the highest growth rates from 2016 to 2017.

The greatest relative declines for municipalities with more than 5,000 people were reported for the City of Prince Rupert (-4.3%) and the Kitimat District Municipality (-3.6%).  None of the largest (100,000+ persons) municipalities in the province showed population declines from 2016 to 2017.

Compared to all municipalities, the town of Lake Cowichan saw the largest relative decline in population between 2016 and 2017 (−4.7% or −149 persons). In absolute terms, the North Vancouver District Municipality experienced the largest decline (−1,071 persons or −1.2%).