Census data shows population decline in Burns Lake

Census data shows Burns Lake's population dropped by 8.2 per cent from 2006 to 2011.

Census data shows Burns Lake’s population dropped by 8.2 per cent from 2006 to 2011.

According to recently released 2011 Census data, Burns Lake’s population is 2,029, down from the 2,107 that was reported in 2006, a difference of 78 residents.

Outside the village boundary however there has been population growth, with the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako‘s (RDBN) overall population increasing during the past four years.

Census figures show a 2.5 per cent population increase across the district, bringing the RDBN’s population from 38,243 in 2006 to 39,208 in 2011, an increase of 965 people.

The population of Fort St. James has increased by the largest percentage in the district, with a 25.3 per cent increase. During 2006, Census data shows Fort. St. James had a population of 1,355, which has expanded over the past four years by 336 residents, to 1,691.

With the Mt. Milligan Mine and project ramping up it is expected that the population in the Fort St. James area will continue to increase over the coming years.

Fraser Lake has also seen a 4.9 per cent increase in population, with Census data reporting the population has grown from 1,113 to 1,167 people.

The population in both Smithers and Telkwa has also increased, Smithers population has increased by 3.6 per cent to 5,404, an increase of 187 residents while Telkwa’s population has increased by 4.2 per cent, an increase of 55 residents.

Also on the increase is Vanderhoof, reporting a 10.2 per cent increase in population, now up to 4,480 residents, an increase of 416 residents.

The largest population decrease in the area has been reported in Topley, down to just 80 residents in 2011 from 118 in 2006, a decrease of 32.2 per cent.

In Granisle too, Census data shows a decrease with the population declining by 16.8 per cent, down to 303 residents from 364.

Similarly the population of Decker Lake has decreased by more than 16 per cent, down from 219 residents to 182.

Census data shows that the areas of Southbank and Tintagel are also in population decline, with Southbank’s population dropping by 9.7 per cent to 102 and Tintagel’s population down by 9.4 per cent to 174 residents.

Houston‘s population has slightly decreased to 3,143 from 3,163, a 0.5 per cent decrease.

Canada’s entire population rose to nearly 33.5 million in 2011, which is approximately double the 18.2 million from 50 years ago.

As a whole, British Columbia had a seven per cent growth in population between 2006 and 2011, up to 4.4 million people. That’s part of a national trend that saw more Canadians living in B.C. than ever before.

Laurent Martel, a demography expert with Statistics Canada, said that the census shows Canada is only growing because of immigration.

“Over the last 10 years, migratory increase became the key driver of Canada’s population growth.”

With files from Andrew Hudson.