Summerland’s population continued to dwindle over the past year, but the rate of decline was lower than in previous years.
According to information from B.C. Statistics, Summerland’s population fell from 11,004 people on July 1, 2010 to 10,942 on July 1, 2011, a drop of 62.
This works out to around 0.6 per cent.
Summerland’s population has been decreasing for several years, but the latest decrease is less than in past years.
From 2009 to 2010, the population fell by 251 people, or more than two per cent.
Because of that drop, Summerland was in the top communities with the fastest declining populations in terms of percentages.
Despite the latest decrease, Mayor Janice Perrino said the figures are cause for optimism.
“I’m thrilled,” she said. “We’re starting to climb back up. This is beyond anything we could have hoped for.”
She said the community went through three years of declines of between 200 and 250 people a year.
Perrino added that around 150 people a year die in the community.
Because the total change in population is smaller than this amount, there are new people arriving in the community.
“What we’re doing is working and starting to pay off,” she said.
She would like to see the numbers improve in the future to show a slow but steady rate of growth.