Census shows population growth

Summerland’s population rose by 4.2 per cent in the last five years, in spite of worries about a decline.

Statistics Canada released its 2011 census figures last week, showing a Summerland population of 11,280, compared to 10,828 in 2006.

Summerland’s rate of growth was larger than that of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, which grew 1.6 per cent from 79,475 in 2006 to 80,742 in 2011.

It was also higher than the City of Penticton which posted a three per cent increase from 31,909 to 32,877.

The census also showed Summerland has a total of 5,173 private dwellings. Population density is 152.3 persons per square kilometre compared to 7.8 persons per square kilometre for the regional district.

The land area of the District of Summerland is 74.06 square kilometres while the regional district is 10,414.26 square kilometres.

Summerland’s nearest neighbour, the Penticton Indian Reserve, grew by 13.4 per cent in the last five years, from 1,470 to 1,667. Private dwellings totalled 778. Population density is 8.6 persons per square kilometre.

The land area of the Penticton Indian Reserve is 194.67 square kilometres.

Among the Okanagan municipalities, Oliver is the boom town, with a population increase of 9.8 per cent from 4,395 to 4,824. Kelowna, with almost 10,000 more people, showed a 9.6 per cent increase from 107,035 to 117,312.British Columbia’s population increased seven per cent, compared with a 5.3 per cent increase between 2001 and 2006.

Canada’s big population shift was to the west, with Saskatchewan posting a 6.7 per cent increase in population following a one per cent decline during the last census.

Nationally, the highest rate of growth occurred in Yukon, where the population increased 11.7 per cent in the five years since the last census.

Among the provinces, Alberta had the fastest growth rate of 10.8 per cent.

Between 2006 and 2011, Canada’s population grew by 1,863,791 persons, or 5.9 per cent. That is up more than the last period between the counts, when it grew 5.4 per cent.

The latest rate of increase is the highest among G8 countries. Statistics Canada attributes the increase in population to higher fertility and an increase in the number of non-permanent residents and immigrants in the country.

Last week’s numbers were among the first of four batches of information Statistics Canada will release in the coming year after analyzing 2011 census data.

On May 29 data on age and sex will be released. Sept. 19 is the date for statistics on families, households and marital status, as well as structural type of dwelling and collectives.

The final data release will be Oct. 24 on language.



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