60,000 more people in the Thompson Okanagan by 2030 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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60,000 more people in the Thompson Okanagan by 2030

Thompson/Okanagan region expected to add tens of thousands of people over the next decade..

The province’s latest population forecast shows the Thompson Okanagan “Development Region” growing by 0.9 per cent a year for the next decade.

It’s estimated that the region was home to 618,000 people as of July 1, 2020. By 2030 that number is expected to grow by 61,000 people to 679,000.

Population projections are based on things like fertility and mortality rates and migration.

“It should be noted that because the process of change is cumulative, the reliability of the projections may decrease over time,” a report on B.C. Stats called PEOPLE 2020: BC Sub-Provincial Population, states. “Historical data for international, inter-provincial and intra-provincial migration at a sub-provincial level has proven to be very volatile.”

The base point for the data comes from the 2016 Census, but even those numbers were given a “net census undercoverage” adjustment in 2020 that added 100,000 people to the estimated population of B.C. as a whole.

The 0.9 per cent projected growth rates for the Thompson/Okanagan is down significantly from past regional district growth rates.

From 2018 to 2019  – the latest year that data is available on a different but more detailed government site – the Central Okanagan led the way with a 1.9 per cent rate of growth, bringing its population to 217,214.

The Thompson-Nicola regional district grew by 1.5 per cent to 146,096 followed by the North Okanagan at 1.1 per cent to 90,865 and Okanagan-Similkameen at 0.8 per cent to 89,075.

The Columbia-Shuswap is also counted as part of the Thompson/Okanagan development region.

Projecting those past growth rates into the future would see the Thompson-Nicola hitting 150,000 in 2021, the Central Okanagan reaching 250,00 by 2027 and the North Okanagan growing past 100,000 by 2029.

Of course, these are all projections that are quite distanced from the last Census in 2016. Expect more adjustments to be made after the data is collected from the next census, slated for May of 2021,

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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