Vancouver Island has become a hot spot for new residents, even more so than Metro Vancouver.
Statscan reported in its 2021 census that four of five of BC’s fastest growing areas are all outside of the Metro Vancouver area.
Nanaimo’s census metropolitan area (which includes Qualicum Beach, Parksville, and various other communities) reported more than 115,000 residents in 2021, a 10% increase over the last census.
Mayor Leonard Krog says the 10% increase in population comes as no surprise, and that he’s very proud of the city.
“Nanaimo is the gateway to Vancouver Island,” said Krog. “There’s no doubt about that. You can go north or south, drive out to the west coast… But this is the dropping off point and a lot of people have discovered that the best thing to do is to stay here, it’s not just to pass through.”
Courtenay’s census agglomeration reported almost 63,300 in 2021, a 9.2% increase from 2016.
The Kamloops metropolitan area also expanded by 10%, to more than 114,000.
While the largest cities rankings remain the same, with Vancouver still at the #1 spot population wise, a rapid growth in Vancouver Island was shown to be a highlight of the census.
The municipality with the biggest population growth was Langford, with nearly 46,600 residents— a 31.81% increase from the last census. It is the third fastest growing municipality in all of Canada.