Population of metropolitan area of Vancouver outpaced national growth rate

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Ottawa: New census data shows the population of the metropolitan area of Vancouver outpaced the national growth rate over the last five years.

Statistics Canada released the first batch of numbers from the 2016 census on Wednesday and the population of what the government agency refers to as the census metropolitan area of Vancouver increased by 6.5 per cent since the last census in 2011.

The area’s growth rate was above the national growth rate of 5.0 per cent, while the population of British Columbia increased by 5.6 per cent.

Census metropolitan areas do not conform to established municipal boundaries. Statistics Canada defines them as a metropolitan area with a population of at least 100,000, where the urban core of that area has at least 50,000 people. Commuting patterns and other factors are used in determining these census metropolitan areas. Looking at metropolitan areas this way takes in to account the growing impact of suburban areas on Canada’s largest cities.

When the 2016 census was taken last May 10, the population of the census metropolitan area of Vancouver was 2,463,431, compared with 2,313,328 from the 2011 census. The population of the actual city of Vancouver was 631,486, up from from 603,502 in 2011.

The census indicated that Vancouver ranked No. 3 among the country’s 35 census metropolitan areas.

Canada’s population on census day was 35,151,728, Statistics Canada reported.

The national census is conducted every five years. The information published Wednesday is the first of several releases of data to come from Statistics Canada over the next year that will eventually paint a detailed picture of the country, right down to the local level – including age breakdowns of the population, family makeup, languages spoken, immigration and ethnic origin, the level of education attained and income earned.

Future census releases will give more insight to explain the reasons behind the population changes – whether it’s related mostly to changes in birth and death rates, immigration or interprovincial migration.

At the provincial level, population levels in Alberta saw the highest increase at 11.6 per cent, followed by Saskatchewan (6.3 per cent) and Manitoba (5.8 per cent).

Growth in New Brunswick shrank by 0.5 per cent – the first time since 2006 a province has reported a negative growth rate.

British Columbia’s population levels increased by 5.6 per cent, compared with Ontario (4.6 per cent), Quebec (3.3 per cent), Prince Edward Island (1.9 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (1.0 per cent) and Nova Scotia (0.2 per cent). Among the northern territories, the population grew by 12.7 per cent in the Northwest Territories, 5.8 per cent in the Nunavut and 0.8 per cent in Yukon.

Ontario is still the country’s most populous province, with a population of 13,448,494. The population of other provinces and territories: Quebec, 8,164,361; British Columbia, 4,648,055; Alberta, 4,067,175; Manitoba, 1,278,365; Saskatchewan, 1,098,352; New Brunswick, 923,598; New Brunswick, 747,101; Newfoundland and Labrador, 519,716; Prince Edward Island, 142,907; Northwest Territories, 41,786; Nunavut, 35,944 and Yukon, 35,874.

Here is a local breakdown of census population information for communities in the Vancouver region:

   Community                                             2016                                    2011                             % change

Metropolitan Vancouver                           2,463,431                            2,313,328                              6.5

City of Vancouver                                         631,486                                 603,502                              4.6

North Vancouver                                          85,935                                  84,412                                  1.8

North Vancouver                                          52,898                                  48,196                                  9.8

Mission 1                                                          576                                        574                                       0.3

Seymour Creek 2                                            123                                       107                                        15.0

West Vancouver                                           42,473                                  42,694                                   -0.5

Burnaby                                                            232,755                                223,218                                4.3

New Westminster                                        70,996                                   65,976                                  7.6

Coquitlam                                                         139,284                                126,804                                9.8

Port Coquitlam                                              58,612                                  55,958                                    4.7

Port Moody                                                     33,551                                  33,011                                   1.6

Richmond                                                        198,309                                190,473                                4.1

Langley                                                             117,285                                104,177                                12.6

Langley                                                             25,888                                  25,081                                  3.2

Surrey                                                               517,887                                468,251                                10.6

Semiahmoo                                                      120                                       108                                        11.1

White Rock                                                       19,952                                 19,339                                  3.2

Delta                                                                  102,238                                 99,863                                 2.4

Tsawwassen                                                     816                                        720                                       13.3

Pitt Meadows                                                 18,573                                  17,736                                  4.7

Maple Ridge                                                   82,256                                  76,052                                  8.2

Chilliwack                                                        83,788                                  77,936                                   7.5

Tzeachten 13                                                   2,358                                   1,467                                    60.7

Skwah 4                                                            192                                        216                                       -11.1

Abbotsford                                                      141,397                                133,497                                5.9

Whistler                                                           11,854                                  9,824                                    20.7

Gibsons                                                            4,605                                    4,437                                      3.8

Powell River                                                    13,157                                  13,165                                   -0.1

Matsqui Main 2                                             110                                         81                                          35.8

Mission                                                             38,833                                  36,426                                   6.6

Upper Sumas 6                                               178                                        187                                       -4.8