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2021 census shows 8.6% population growth in the North Okanagan

Lumby led all municipalities in the region with a 12.5 per cent population increase since 2016
Vernon’s population grew by 11 per cent from 2016 to 2021, according to the latest census. Updated population figures were released Wednesday, Feb 9, 2022. (City of Vernon photo)

The latest Canadian census shows the North Okanagan’s population has grown by 8.6 per cent since 2016, to a total of 91,610 people.

That makes the North Okanagan the seventh fastest growing regional district in B.C., tied with Okanagan-Similkameen.

Further breaking down the 2021 population census, here are the population changes for North Okanagan municipalities, ranked by growth rate.


2016 population: 1,833

2021 population: 2,063

Percentage change: 12.5

Density per square km: 347.7


2016 population:40,116

2021 population: 44,519

Percentage change: 11

Density per square km: 461.7


2016 population: 10,648

2021 population: 11,171

Percentage change: 4.9

Density per square km: 167.8


2016 population: 5,114

2021 population: 5,323

Percentage change: 4.1

Density per square km: 1,020


2016 population: 5,106

2021 population: 5,307

Percentage change: 3.9

Density per square km: 20.8


2016 population: 2,964

2021 population: 3,028

Percentage change: 2.2

Density per square km: 710.4

Lumby topped the list with a 12.5 per cent population increase — a benefit to the small village, according to Mayor Kevin Acton.

“Moderate growth is always good for a village of our size as the cost versus infrastructure and services are challenging,” said Acton. “The growth helps offset potential tax increases.”

Acton said he thinks there are several factors driving the village’s growth. One is that Lumby is a beautiful area with no major highway running through it. Also, the community is safe and family-oriented, with lots of park space and outdoor access and a close proximity to major cities and the Kelowna International Airport.

“Challenges to growth remains the same: lack of housing of all sectors,” Acton said.

Overall, the province of B.C. reached the five million mark thanks to a 7.6 per cent population increase since the last census.

The federal government is doling out the findings of the 2021 census throughout 2022. Population data was released Wednesday, Feb. 9. On April 27, demographic data will be released. On July 13, information on family households, military experience and Canadians’ income will be shared.

Language statistics will be shared Aug. 17; First Nations, Métis and Inuit statistics will be shared Sept. 21; immigration, religion and migration data will be released Oct. 26; and education and labour data will be released Nov. 30.

READ MORE: B.C. population tops 5M in 2021, province grows by 7.6% since 2016

READ MORE: More people moved to B.C. than elsewhere in Canada in the last year: StatCan

Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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