After decades of decline, Revelstoke’s population is on the increase.
Statistics Canada released the 2016 census population data Wednesday morning and it shows Revelstoke’s population jumped by 5.7 per cent between 2016 and 2011.
7,547 people call the community home, up from 7,139 in 2011.
The population for Area B Rural Revelstoke of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District increased by 8.3 per cent, to 598 people from 552.
Revelstoke’s population peaked in the early 1980s when the Revelstoke Dam was built. in 1981, 9,081 people lived here, according to that year’s census. By 1986, 800 people have moved away and another 550 left by 1991. There was a small increase in population between 1991 and 1996 but then it continued to decrease until 2011, when the population sunk to 7,139 people.
2016’s population is slightly higher than the 7,500 people counted here in 2001.
The census was taken in April and May of last year, after the ski season ended. One of the big questions will be how well it reflects the seasonal increase in population in winter. In 2013, a study conducted for the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan estimated there was about 13,000 people here on the busiest winter weekends.
Statistics Canada release the information on population and dwelling counts on Wednesday, and more information will follow throughout the year.
The number of private dwellings in Revelstole is 3,531, of which 3,252 are occupied by permanent residents.
In the regional district, the data shows many homes are vacation properties. 267 out of 466 properties are lived in by permanent residents.
Revelstoke’s growth is mimics that of British Columbia’s as a whole. The province’s population increased by 5.6 per cent over the last five years, reaching 4,648,055 people.
Canada’s population grew by five per cent, topping 35 million people.
Here’s a look at population changes in a selection of other communities in the BC Interior:
— Fernie: 18 per cent
— Golden: 0.2 per cent
— Invermere: 14.8 per cent
— Kamloops: 5.4 per cent
— Kelowna: 8.6 per cent
— Nakusp: 2.3 per cent
— Nelson: 3.3 per cent
— Rossland: 4.9 per cent
— Salmon Arm: 1.4 per cent
— Sicamous: -0.5 per cent
— Vernon: 5.1 per cent