The mid-Island is a growth area in B.C.
The Regional District of Nanaimo had the seventh-highest rise in population rate among British Columbia’s 27 regional districts, according to recently released 2016 Statistics Canada census information.
The region grew to 155,698 people in 2016 from 146,574 in the 2011 census for an increase of 6.2 per cent.
The Parksville census metropolitan area, which includes Qualicum Beach and Area G, rose to 28,922 from 27,822, an increase of four per cent.
Area H (Shaw Hill, Deep Bay, Bowser) saw the region’s highest population growth rate, rising to 39,097 from 37,550 for a 10.7 per cent change. Area E (Nanoose Bay) was next highest, growing to 6,125 from 5,674 for a 7.9 per cent change. Area G (Dashwood, Englishman River, French Creek) is up 4.3 per cent to 7,465 from 7,158 and Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington) is up 4.1 per cent to 7,724 from 7,422.
The RDN board received a report on the census data at its committee of the whole meeting Tuesday in Nanaimo. In a report to the committee, Courtney Simpson, RDN senior planner, noted that the 6.2 per cent growth rate “is slightly higher than during the last census period (5.7 per cent) but not as high as the growth experienced from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s” when population grew 6.6 per cent in 1986, 23.8 per cent in 1991 and 18.9 per cent in 1996.
Bill Veenhof, RDN board chairman, said more detailed numbers are anticipated, and “it looks like our board composition will change somewhat.”
— NEWS staff