Issue 19-15 Sub-Provincial Population Estimates

January 30, 2019

At the provincial level, the B.C. population was estimated at 4,991,687 as of July 1, 2018. B.C.’s population grew by 1.4% between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 – an increase of over 69,500 persons. Regional changes varied from growth of 2.0% to population declines of -2.7%.

B.C. Regional Districts

Central Okanagan (+2.0%) and Columbia-Shuswap (+2.0%) regional districts experienced the highest relative growth between 2017 and 2018 followed by Alberni-Clayoquot (+1.8%) and Cowichan Valley (+1.7%) regional districts.

In absolute terms, the Greater Vancouver Regional District saw the largest increase in population in the twelve months ending June 30, 2018 (+39,462), followed by the Capital Regional District (+5,173) and Fraser Valley (+4,606). In contrast, Stikine (-2.7%), Northern Rockies (-0.7%) and North Coast (-0.2%) continue to show population decreases, losing a combined 97 persons during the same reference period. The Greater Vancouver Regional District has seen total growth of 11.8% in the seven years since 2011.

B.C. Municipalities

Among the larger municipalities – those with at least 5,000 persons – the town of Ladysmith (+3.6%) and the City of Langford (+2.9%) saw the largest relative increases in population since July 1, 2017. In absolute terms, the City of Surrey experienced the most significant population gain between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 (+14,865 persons or +2.7%).

Other large (5,000+ persons) municipalities that experienced high relative growth during the past year include the Lake Country district municipality (+2.6%), the City of Salmon Arm (+2.6%) and the City of Kimberley (+2.3%).

For smaller municipalities with populations fewer than 5,000 people, Radium Hot Springs (+11.3%), Sun Peaks Mountain (+9.0%) and Tofino (+6.8%) reported the highest growth rates from 2017 to 2018.

With regards to municipalities with more than 5,000 people, the City of Osoyoos (-0.2%) was the only municipality that showed a population decline from 2017 to 2018.

Compared to all municipalities, the village of Zebalos saw the largest relative decline in population between 2017 and 2018 (-5.6%). In absolute terms, the Fort St. James District Municipality experienced the largest decline (-52 persons or -3.1%).

Data Source: BC Stats