Vancouver Island communities are growing, but not because Islanders are having more babies.
The Nanaimo Census Area recorded a population growth of 115,743 as of July 1, 2019, up two per cent compared to the same date in 2018. By contrast, Greater Victoria grew 1.5 per cent.
But like Greater Victoria, the area would be shrinking were it not for international migrants, as well as residents from other parts of British Columbia or Canada.
The Nanaimo area gained a net population of 2,250 people with 1,189 coming from other parts of Canada, 421 coming from other parts of B.C., and 887 coming from oversea sources. The number of deaths, meanwhile, outstripped the number of new-borns by 247. A similiar pattern has also appeared in Greater Victoria.
In fact, Nanaimo’s population is older than Greater Victoria. Whereas seniors accounted for 21.4 per cent of the population in Greater Victoria, they accounted for 22.7 per cent in Nanaimo. Its share of individuals aged 15 to 64 stands at 63.5 per cent, while its share of individuals aged 0 to 14 is 13.8 per cent, higher than Victoria’s rate of 12.4, but broadly trending down.
Looking elsewhere on Vancouver Island, Courtenay saw its population rise 1.5 per cent to 59,268, while Duncan’s population rose 1.4 per cent to 48,251. Campbell River’s population rose 1.9 per cent to 41,845. Parksville’s population, meanwhile, stagnated at 30,707, rising 0.4 per cent. Port Alberni grew by one per cent to 26,794, while Powell River stagnated at 17,558, rising 0.2 per cent.
All communities recorded more deaths than births, with the percentage share of seniors in many communities landing in the mid-to-high 20s, and exceeding 43 per cent in the case of Parksville.
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