Census statistics show slow growth

Summerland’s population grew by 335 people between 2011 and 2016, according to data from the latest national census.

According to the census figures, which were released last week, Summerland’s population rose from 11,280 in 2011 to 11,615 in 2016, an increase of 3.0 per cent.

The growth rate in Summerland is lower than British Columbia’s growth rate of 5.6 per cent over the same period. Canada’s population increased by 5.0 per cent.

In the South Okanagan, the growth rates were lower than the provincial average.

In Peachland, the population increased by 4.4 per cent while in Osoyoos, the growth rate was 5.0 per cent.

Penticton’s population grew by 2.5 per cent and Oliver’s population grew by 2.2 per cent.

Kelowna’s population increased by 8.4 per cent and Lake Country saw 10.4 per cent growth. While the growth rate in Summerland is lower than the national and provincial averages, Mayor Peter Waterman said the numbers are not cause for concern.

“People want to come to Summerland,” he said. “I think as a place to retire, it’s about top of the list.”

The low crime rate and aesthetic beauty of the community both make Summerland attractive, he said.

In addition, the community holds appeal for people who work online.

Waterman said building statistics in Summerland show the community is thriving. He said building activity is returning to the level seen before the economic downturn of 2008.

In January, nine building permits, with a total value of $1,688,966 were issued.

These permits included two single family homes, worth $1,033,000 and one new industrial building, worth $486,666.

“There’s certainly a lot of activity in town,” he said.


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