Census figures show steady regional shift

Vast majority of growth in the Capital Region comes from the western communities

Saanich continues to be Vancouver Island’s largest community, but the latest census figures show the pace of growth in the district is far below other communities in the Capital Region.

Saanich’s population reached 114,148 in 2016, according to Statistics Canada figures, a four per cent increase from the 109,752 recorded in the 2011 census. While the rate of growth is comparable to the 5.6 per cent seen by the province as a whole, it’s far below the pace of the region as a whole.

That hardly comes as a surprise. The Capital Region was the eighth fastest growing census metropolitan area in the country and the only one to grow at a faster rate between 2011 and 2016 than between 2006 and 2011. Langford led the way with a 20.9 per cent increase in its population, followed by Sooke at 13.7 per cent and View Royal at 10.9 per cent. Victoria’s population climbed 7.2 per cent, going from 80,017 in 2011 to 85,792 today.

What this means is a steady structural shift for the Capital Regional District, where the western communities will become home for a growing share of the population. The bright side will mean that Saanich’s funding share of regional initiatives will slowly decline. The downside is the CRD will have to invest in infrastructure to accommodate the growing demand on the West Shore, with those communities steadily gaining influence on the regional board.

In more general terms, the census figures reveal Vancouver and Victoria as the twin engines driving provincial growth, with Greater Vancouver and the Capital Region accounting for about 70 per cent of B.C.’s population growth. Not coincidentally, those regions are the province’s least affordable. That shows the issue represents more than a regional challenge, as the province needs to find a way to address the affordability crisis or encourage growth in other regions to reduce the strain on its main population centres.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Work on Sidney’s Reay Creek Dam won’t wrap until 2021

Municipality expects the pond to be ‘partially drained’ again in 2021

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read