Population declines in small South Okanagan communities while Osoyoos surpasses 5,000 mark

Penticton and other larger centres in the South Okanagan grew in population between 2011 and 2016, but some smaller communities didn't fare as well, recently released Census figures reveal.

PENTICTON - Population is on the rise in the South Okanagan, but in most cases not as fast as the national average.

Census statistics released today by the federal government reveal population growth in every community in the South Okanagan except Kaleden, Olalla and Hedley, which saw population declines of 1.7, 5.7 and 4 per cent, respectively.

The new figures could also have hefty tax implications for residents of Osoyoos. The community surpassed the 5,000 mark, which significantly alters the tax structure for policing costs in the community.

Other municipalities and Indian Bands fared better, but in many cases not as well as the national average, which saw the Canadian population as a whole increase by 1.7 million in the five year period, or five per cent.

Penticton’s population rose to 33,761 from 32,877 in 2011, an increase of 2.7 per cent, while Summerland’s population rose to 11,615 from 11,280 in 2011, an increase of three per cent.

Other population centres showed similar growth. Oliver rose to 4,928 from 4,824 in 2011, up 2.2 per cent.

The Town of Osoyoos' 2016 census figures reveal an increase in the town’s population to 5,085 from 4,845 in 2011, up five per cent.

Princeton saw an increase to 2,828 from 2,724 from 2011, up 3.8 per cent. Elsewhere in the Similkameen Valley, Keremeos saw growth of 12.9 per cent as the village grew from 1,330 in 2011 to 1,502 residents in 2016.

The Penticton Indian Band’s population is also up in 2016, to 1,783 from 1,667 in 2011, an increase of seven per cent.

The Osoyoos Indian Band population increased by 132 people in the same five years, to 762 from 628.

Other South Okanagan and Similkameen communities grew, (or not) as follows:

  • Naramata- 1,647 in 2011 to 1,676 in 2016, up 1.8 per cent
  • Kaleden - 1,224 in 2011 to 1,203 in 2016, a decline of 1.7 per cent
  • Okanagan Falls - 2,157 in 2011 to 2,230 in 2016, up 3.4 per cent
  • Olalla- 401 in 2011 to 378 in 2016, a decline of 5.7 per cent
  • Hedley - 252 in 2011 to 242 in 2016, a decline of 4 per cent

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen showed an increase of 2.7 per cent, from 80,742 to 83,022 in the same time period.


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