Manitoba's population grows faster than Canadian average
On a national level, Canada's population is now 35.2 million
Manitoba's population is growing at a faster rate than the national average, the latest numbers from Statistics Canada say.
It's the first time that's happened in 80 years.
The number of people in the province increased more than 70,000 since 2011 — going from 1,208,268 to 1,278,365. That's a growth rate of 5.8 per cent, compared to the national average of five per cent.
Most of the gain was due to international migration, Statistics Canada says in a report released Wednesday morning that gives Canadians their first glimpse into the 2016 census data.
Manitoba was one of only two provinces to register a growth rate larger than the one in the previous census. From 2006-11, Manitoba's population grew 5.2 per cent.
Alberta was the other province with stronger growth — 11.6 per cent growth from 2011-16, compared to 10.8 per cent from 2006-11. Because the census was taken in May, it does not fully take into account the recent economic slump in Alberta.
Among the notable increases in population in Manitoba cities, Winkler went from 10,670 in 2011 to 12,591 in 2016, an 18 per cent change. Steinbach's population went from 13,524 in 2011 to 15,829 in 2016, an increase of 17 per cent.
- Brandon grew 6.1 per cent — 48,859 in 2016, up from 46,061 in 2011.
- Winnipeg grew 6.3 per cent — 705,244 in 2016, up from 663,617 in 2011.
Steinbach's double-digit population growth doesn't entirely surprise Mayor Chris Goertzen, who cites the city's urban amenities and welcoming small-town atmosphere.
"We've known that we've had so many people coming to our community. In fact … about 10 people every week are moving to Steinbach and we've noticed it," he told CBC's Radio Noon program.
"Steinbach has a lot of city amenities that are available, and yet we still have a small-town feel, and that balance is really important for people. People want to raise a family, they want to work in an environment that is friendly, and we're a welcoming community."
Many smaller communities also saw big jumps, including:
- Ste. Anne: 30 per cent increase, from 1,626 to 2,114.
- Neepawa: 26.6 per cent increase, from 3,111 to 3,939.
- Niverville: 26.6 per cent increase, from 3,224 to 4,083.
- Île des Chênes: 25.1 per cent increase, from 1,221 to 1,528.
- St. Adolphe: 21.9 per cent increase, from 1,117 to 1,362.
- Blumenort: 19.3 per cent increase, from 1,404 to 1,675.
But there weren't increases everywhere. The biggest drop was in Gillam, which fell from 1,248 to 1,036 (–17 per cent).
Other declines were in:
- Flin Flon: –6.9 per cent, from 4,990 to 4,648.
- Roblin: –5.3 per cent, from 1,705 to 1,614.
- Minnedosa: –2.7 per cent, from 2,239 to 2,178.
- St. Theresa Point: –1.8 per cent, from 1,057 to 1,038.
- Landmark: –0.8 per cent, from 1,247 to 1,237.
On a national level, Canada's population is now 35.2 million. That's an increase of 1.7 million from 2011 and is the strongest growth of all G7 countries.
The population and dwelling counts are the first data from the 2016 census to be released by Statistics Canada.
Further releases, including those related to gender, language, immigration and labour, will follow throughout 2017.