New Brunswick's population grew by 2.9 per cent between 2006 and 2011, bucking a decades-long trend of a declining population, according to Statistics Canada.

The population figures from the census were released on Wednesday. New Brunswick's population now stands at 751,171 in 2011 up from 729,997 in 2006.

New Brunswick is becoming more of a southern, urban and suburban province, according to the census data.

Communities near and around the three biggest cities are among the fastest-growing places in the province.

Saint John is still clinging to its title of the province's largest city, according to the census data. The Port City now has 70,063 people, an increase of three per cent.

However, Moncton's population jumped to 69,074, an increase of 7.7 per cent.

Fredericton also experienced a significant population bump between 2006 and 2011. The capital city's population increased to 56,224, a change of 11.3 per cent.

Outlying communities see big jump

But the dominant theme in New Brunswick's population changes is the growth of communities outside of the three largest cities.

Dieppe saw its population spike up by 25.6 per cent to 23,310 between 2006 and 2011.

Some people say the town offers a lot for families.

Former teacher Anick Blais moved to Dieppe from Grand Falls four years ago to open her shoe store.

Blais said Dieppe has everything she wants in a place to live.

"It was French and English and that was important to me because I have two young children and I want them to learn both French and English I thought it was a nice place for families," Blais told CBC News.

Gaétane Vautour moved to Dieppe from Fredericton in 2007 to be closer to her son and grandchildren.

Vautour said Dieppe has a lot to offer.

"We are going to concerts and to carnivals. And families are really a high importance here," Vautour said.

While Dieppe officials say they're excited over the growth, the population boom comes with some pressures.

"New road infrastructure, on new municipal infrastructure, on water and sewer systems that need to be put in place in order for people to develop new areas of the city and that's certainly be a challenge for us to keep up those things," said Isabelle LeBlanc, a spokeswoman for the city.

The city's population surpassed nearby Riverview, which has 19,128 residents. Riverview's population grew by 7.3 per cent.

The suburban belt of communities around Saint John is also experiencing strong growth.

Quispamsis saw its population increase to 17,886, a boost of 17.4 per cent. And Rothesay's population grew to 11,947, a 2.7 per cent increase.

The same trend could also be found around Fredericton.

Oromocto's population grew by 6.3 per cent to 8,932, Kingsclear's population jumped by 10.5 per cent to 7,391, Lincoln's population increased by 12 per cent to 6,458. As well, the small community of Douglas saw its population grow by 5.3 per cent to 6,081.