Statistics Canada released its first census data — population and dwelling counts — on Wednesday, February 8, and Kimberley is far out-pacing the provincial and national average in terms of growth.
Kimberley’s population grew to 7,425 in the 2016 census, up from 6,652 in 2011, an increase of 11.8 per cent. Nationally, the population grew to 35,151,728, a five per cent increase. In British Columbia, the population grew by 5.6 per cent, with 4.6 million people.
In the East Kootenay, it appears to be resort communities leading the way in population growth. Fernie grew by 18 per cent, Invermere by 14.8 per cent. Non-resort communities recorded slower growth. Cranbrook’s population was up by 3.8 per cent to 20,047, Sparwood grew by 3.2 per cent.
The census also provided dwelling counts in two categories; total number of dwellings and dwellings usually occupied. In Kimberley there are 4,425 dwellings, with 3,328 usually occupied. The population density is 122.5 people per square kilometre.
The East Kootenay as a whole grew by 6.6 per cent, ahead of the provincial average. The total population in the East Kootenay is 60,439.
More census data will be released in stages throughout the year, with age, sex and type of dwelling released on May 3; families, households and marital status and language on August 2; immigration and ethnocultural diversity on October 25 and education, labour, mobility and migration on November 29, 2017.