Most Vancouver Island communities see higher population growth than previous year: StatsCan

Most Vancouver Island communities see higher population growth than previous year: StatsCan
Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News

There were more deaths than births on Vancouver Island in 2021, but the population continued to increase thanks to high numbers of people relocating from other parts of the province, according to Statistics Canada’s latest growth estimates.

Of the metropolitan areas which Statistics Canada provided estimates for, the population is overall estimated to have increased in communities on Vancouver Island, but it is through interprovincial, intraprovincial, and international migration.

The estimates were taken from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021.

Interprovincial migration refers to people moving in and out of B.C. to the area, whereas intraprovincial refers to people moving within the province.

Victoria’s population is estimated to have had the largest population increase on the Island with a population growth of 5,876. The majority of that increase came from interprovincial migration at 5,235.

Nanaimo is the region with the second highest population growth at 1,177 with 1,116 coming from interprovincial migration.

Port Alberni saw the smallest actual population growth with 351, but the percentage of growth is similar to other Island communities at 1.3 per cent. The seven Island communities saw growth between 0.9 to 1.6 per cent.

In terms of natural increases in population, none of the seven Island communities saw positive numbers in this area.

Statistics Canada defines natural increases as the number of people being born in a region compared to the number of deaths.

Victoria’s decrease was the largest with -1,184, Campbell River had the smallest at -112.

Victoria, Nanaimo, and Courtenay all saw the majority of their estimated growth from interprovincial migration.

Campbell River, Duncan, Parksville and Port Alberni had intraprovincial migration as the highest source of estimated population growth.

Of the seven Island communities with statistics published, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Duncan, and Parksville saw negative international population growth – though Courtenay and Duncan only saw the population decrease by four, Parksville by 19, and Nanaimo by 247.

All communities except for Victoria saw higher population growth than in 2019-2020. Victoria’s population had estimated to increase by 6,231 the year before.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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