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Vancouver Peak
Vancouver Island - Population 1986-2012 - Printable Version

+- Vancouver Peak (
+-- Forum: Data and Statistics (
+--- Forum: Vancouver Island Data (
+--- Thread: Vancouver Island - Population 1986-2012 (/showthread.php?tid=2949)

Vancouver Island - Population 1986-2012 - Skook - 07-07-2013

Let’s kick off Vancouver Island posts with that exciting and stimulating topic - population. I have used two sources for this info: BC Stats and Stats Canada.

The four tables directly below look at Vancouver Island first as a whole and then I have attempted to get a picture of the growth in areas outside the of CRD (Capital Region District) and then of the CRD itself (used the census designation CMA for Greater Victoria which may or may not follow the CRD boundaries exactly). The table following the Gulf Islands graph shows the areas included in the Victoria CMA data. For this information, I used BC Stats which bases its data on the 5-year Stats Canada census (1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011) and its own estimates. I created the graphs to help visualize the data.

It is interesting to note that the 1986 Canada Census occurred in the same year as ‘Expo 86’ in Vancouver and it is a common held belief that the rest of Canada and the world finally discovered the west coast as a result of this event. The graphs seem to bear this out with steady population growth from 1986 to 1997. We see a slight dip or levelling off for a couple of years and then populations begin to rise again starting in 2001 which is the year WestJet established a direct route from Alberta to the centre of Vancouver Island (Comox).

Opening the island up to Alberta oil money certainly could explain some of the population growth but not all. Many on the Sunshine Coast left for the island as properties values rose and as a ‘new breed’ of people began to arrive. Those that left tended to head up to the Campbell River area and to the islands nearby it.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=260]

[Image: attachment.php?aid=261]

Areas included in the Victoria CMA:

[Image: attachment.php?aid=262]

The information above counts only those who claim Vancouver Island as their ‘permanent’ residence. Therefore, the data offers no insight in the growth of those buying property as secondary residences whether for recreation or investment purposes. To get an idea of this growth, I turned to Stats Canada and the 2011 Census results. The census results include two useful pieces of information:
  • the total number of private dwellings
  • the private dwellings occupied by 'usual' residents (those who live permanently at the address)
Subtracting the ‘occupied’ from the total private dwellings will give a “sense” of this secondary growth. Not wanting to spend days trying to organize the data, I chose to go with the census data for the Victoria CMA, four Regional Districts, one electoral district (Saanich-Gulf Islands) and one census agglomeration area (Campbell River).

You will notice on the small maps below that the Saanich Peninsula is included in both the Victoria CMA and the Saanich-Gulf Islands Electoral Area, so you need to keep that in mind when looking at that data.

As for Campbell River, it is in the Strathcona Regional District but that RD as well as the Mount Waddington RD (the two RDs at the tip of the island) includes substantial swaths of the mainland over on the other side of the Strait which would make that information useless for my purposes. However, Stats Canada with its thousand and one ways to look at the data did offer a Campbell River CA (census agglomeration) which looked good to me.

[Image: attachment.php?aid=263]

This being a forum it is open to anyone and everyone who wishes to comment on or add to the data presented here and in every other post on the board - so, feel free to jump in especially those who live on Vancouver Island who can offer first-hand insight to all that has or is taking place.