Census figures released last week show that Canada’s population as of 2011 now sits at 33.5 million people and is growing at a rate of approximately 5.9 per cent. British Columbia shows an average growth rate of seven per cent, second only to Alberta, which sits in the lead at approximately 10.8 per cent.
Western Canada as a whole shows marked increases since 2006 compared to the eastern side of the country.
Many of B.C.’s southern Interior communities have grown. Kamloops has grown by 6.6 per cent – showing a population of 85,678, while Kelowna is up by 9.6 per cent with a population of 107,035.
The smaller rural community of Barriere shows a whopping growth jump of 23.8 per cent. From a population of 1,432 in 2006 to a population of 1,773 in 2011. The census shows the municipality with a total of 876 private dwellings, and having a population density of 164.7 per square kilometer in a land area of 10.77 square kilometers.
District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys says he sees the large rate of growth over the past five years a positive for his community.
“I think it’s great for Barriere,” said Humphreys, “An increase of 300 means there is probably about 100 young people who will grow up and work here.”
Humphreys noted that a good portion of the population increase has come from seniors who “…come to Barriere for the lifestyle here, and the affordable living; but they are young and vibrant seniors who get involved with the community.”
The Thompson Nicola Regional District shows population density of 2.9 in its 44,447.71 square kilometers. Growth rate overall in the TNRD since 2006 has risen by 5.1 per cent from a population of 122,286 in 2006 to 128,473 in 2011.
To find out more about the Canadian census go to: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/index-eng.cfm