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Population of Salmon Arm jumps nearly 10 per cent since 2016 census

North Shuswap not the largest electoral area but tops local increases with 30.4 per cent jump
Statistics Canada released the general census information Feb. 9, with population increases for Salmon Arm and Sicamous ranging between seven and 10 per cent. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

Salmon Arm’s population has risen by nearly 10 per cent since 2016, a figure Salmon Arm’s mayor deemed ‘perfect.’

In 2016, the city’s population was measured at 17,706 but by May 2021, when the most recent census was recorded, the total had increased by 9.6 per cent or 1,726 people to just short of 20,000 – 19,432.

On Feb. 9 when Statistics Canada released the numbers, Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison expressed his enthusiastic approval.

“That’s an annual increase of about two per cent per year. Spot on, perfect, couldn’t be better. Steady, even growth, two per cent per year we can handle.”

Similarly, the population in Sicamous rose from 2,429 in 2016 to 2,613 in 2021, a 7.6 per cent increase.

In terms of size of municipalities in B.C., Salmon Arm was ranked at 36, nestled between Cranbrook and Pitt Meadows. Sicamous was ranked at 172.

Salmon Arm’s 9.7 per cent jump is higher than B.C.’s overall growth of 7.6 per cent.

Vancouver topped the B.C. population numbers with 662,248, followed by Surrey with about 100,000 fewer people at 568,322.

Next came Burnaby with 249,125 followed by Richmond, Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Kelowna at 144,576, Langley, Saanich and Delta. All the top 10 cities grew, with Kelowna topping those percentages with 13.5 per cent growth.

Nanaimo’s population was 11th with 99,863 and Kamloops, 12th, with 97,902.

In the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, all electoral areas grew but the electoral area with the most growth was Area F, North Shuswap. Its population rose by 30.4 per cent from 2,454 in 2017 to 3,200 in 2021.

The populations for areas in the Shuswap are listed below. Maps accompany the numbers on the Stats Can website.

Geographic Name - 2016 Census to 2021 Census; Percentage Change

Chase - 2,286 to 2,399; 4.9% increase

Neskonlith - 237 to 279; 17.6% increase

Quaaout 1 - 171 to 284; 66.1% increase

Scotch Creek 4 - 20 to 30; 50% increase

Switsemalph - 127 to 209; 64.6% increase

Switsemalph 3 - 71 to 64; 9.9% decrease

Salmon Arm - 17,706 to 19,432; 9.7% increase

Sicamous - 2,429 to 2,613; 7.6% increase

Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), electoral areas:

Area C South Shuswap: Sunnybrae, Tappen, White Lake, Blind Bay, Sorrento, Eagle Bay, Notch Hill - 7,921 to 8,919; 12.6% increase

Area D: Falkland, Deep Creek, Ranchero, Salmon Valley, Silver Creek, Gardom Lake - 4044 to 4,400; 8.8% increase

Area E: Rural area around Sicamous including Swansea Point and Malakwa - 1,185 to 1,388; 17.1% increase

Area F North Shuswap: Lee Creek, Scotch Creek, Celista, Magna Bay, Anglemont, St. Ives, Seymour Arm - 2,454 to 3,200; 30.4% increase

The data for Canada - provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities) can be found on the Statistics Canada website.

Read more: Penticton’s population grows by 9%, approaches 37,000 people: Statistics Canada

Read more: 2021 census shows 8.6% population growth in the North Okanagan
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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