North Okanagan population growth doubles than forecast





Image Credit: Contribution/City of Vernon


The North Okanagan’s population has grown twice as fast as expected, according to new data released by Statistics Canada.

Between 2016 and 2021, the North Okanagan’s population grew at a rate of 1.7%, more than double what was expected.

According to a North Okanagan Regional District report based on historical population projections, the area is expected to grow at a rate of 0.84%.

The North Okanagan has seen its population grow from 84,344 in 2016 to 91,610 in 2021.

Electoral Area C, which covers an area of ​​BX east of Swan Lake, was the fastest growing area in the Regional District at 3.3%. Lumby was second with a growth rate of 2.5%, followed by Vernon with a growth rate of 2.2%.

The report indicates that every community has grown in the North Okanagan, even in areas whose population is expected to decline.


READ MORE: Despite building boom, Okanagan town struggles to house 5,000 new residents

The additional influx of people has put considerable pressure on housing in the area.

The report said the North Okanagan was expected to grow by an average of 319 households per year.

However, on average, recent population growth sees an additional 1,450 individuals in the region each year.

The report says 3,245 homes were created between 2016 and 2021.

“These projections could not have anticipated the increased demand from those leaving urban centers due to the COVID pandemic and the ability to work from home,” the report said.

“Even without this additional growth, we would have been short even if it had been predicted correctly,” Area B Electoral Officer Bob Fleming told iNFOnews.ca. “This is a problem that is a work in progress that has no easy solutions.”

Fleming pointed to a new sewage treatment facility in the Swan Lake Corridor which is expected to be completed in 2024. Once complete, the new facility will allow properties to be subdivided and more housing to be added.

“Everyone is interested in trying to find a solution, but housing doesn’t happen overnight, there are a lot of steps and it’s hard to deal with the bulge,” he said.

The report also showed that the area is dominated by single-detached houses, however, census data shows that large households requiring more than two bedrooms are a minority.

“More than two-thirds of households in the urban center and the rest of the (regional district) have two people or fewer. Meanwhile, two-thirds of dwellings are single-family homes with three or more bedrooms,” the report said.

The report says there needs to be continued growth in the development of apartments, duplexes and townhouses.


READ MORE: More people are fighting rental evictions in BC and have to wait longer



To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips at the press room and be entered to win a monthly raffle.


We appreciate your comments and opinions on our stories, but play well. We will not censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in the comments, email the editor in the link above.

Previous Veerashaiva-Lingayats Seeks State Recommendation for Inclusion in OBC Central List
Next Tamil Nadu puts tourism back on the map - The New Indian Express