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Population Statistics

The 2016 Census population for the Regional District of Nanaimo is 155,698. Of this number, 26% (40,132) live in electoral areas and First Nation communities, and the remaining 74% (115,566) live in municipalities, allocated as follows:

AreaPopulation
Electoral Area20012006201120162001-2006
% change
2006-2011
% change
2011-2016
% change
A 6,4236,7516,9087,0585.1%2.3%2.2%
B3,5224,0504,0454,03315.0%-0.1%-0.3%
C a1,9322,5082,8342,80829.8%13.0%-0.9%
E4,8205,4625,6746,12513.3%3.9%7.9%
F5,5466,6807,4227,72420.4%11.1%4.1%
G b6,1137,0237,1587,46514.9%1.9%4.3%
H3,1083,4743,5093,88411.8%1.0%10.7%
Electoral Area Total31,46435,94837,55039,09714.3%4.5%4.1%

AreaPopulation
Municipalities20012006201120162001-2006
% change
2006-2011
% change
2011-2016
% change
Nanaimo73,00078,69283,81090,5047.8%6.5%8.0%
Parksville10,32310,99311,97712,5146.5%9.0%4.5%
Lantzville a3,6533,6613,6013,6050.2%-1.6%0.1%
Qualicum Beach b7,8498,5028,6878,9438.3%2.2%2.9%
Municipalities Total94,825101,848108,075115,5667.4%6.1%6.9%

AreaPopulation
First Nation Reserves20012006201120162001-2006
% change
2006-2011
% change
2011-2016
% change
Snuyneymuxw 123827937736017.2%35.1%-4.5%
Snuyneymuxw 2202126205.0%23.8%-23.1%
Snuyneymuxw 33350819251.5%62.0%13.6%
Snuyneymuxw 415820818025931.6%-13.5%43.9%
Nanoose207191204230-7.7%6.8%12.7%
Qualicum 7186817421.1%-5.8%-8.6%
First Nations Total7278359491,03514.9%13.7%9.1%

 20012006201120162001-2006
% change
2006-2011
% change
2011-2016
% change
Total Population c127,016138,631146,574155,6989.1%5.7%6.2%

Source: Statistics Canada, www.statcan.gc.ca (2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 Canadian Census)

  1. The 2001 population is adjusted to reflect that Area D was incorporated into Area C and Lantzville
  2. The 2001 population is adjusted to take into account boundary changes between the 2001 and 2006 Censuses
  3. Note: that Urban Futures 2007 calculated the 2006 regional population to be 144,317 - this was used as the starting point for growth projections calculated for the 2011 Regional Growth Strategy.

Past Population Growth

The population of the region increased from 77,624 residents in 1981 to 155,698 residents in 2016. This means an increase of 100% during that time at a growth rate of approximately 2.7% per year, on average.

Population growth rates in the Regional District have fluctuated over the past 35 years during different census periods. These highs and lows are the result of a range factors including migration, aging as well as births and deaths.

Census Year Estimated Population Census Period Census Period Growth Rate (%) Average Annual Growth Rate (%)
1981 77,624 1976-1981 25 5
1986 82,714 1981-1986 7 1.4
1991 102,411 1986-1991 24 4.8
1996 121,783 1991-1996 19 3.8
2001 127,016 1996-2001 4 0.8
2006 138,631 2001-2006 9 1.8
2011 146,574 2006-2011 6 1.2
Source: Statistics Canada

Past Population Growth Chart

Future Population Growth

A population and housing study conducted by the RDN in 2007 (Urban Futures 2007) estimated a 2006 population of 144,317 residents and used this as the basis to calculate future population growth. The study forecasts a population increase of 60 percent from 144,317 residents in 2006 to 231,184 residents by 2036 (BC Statistics, www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca, Urban Futures 2007).

The study forecasts that the region will "grow at a slowing annual rate from roughly two percent today (2007) to just under one percent by 2036" compared to the three to five percent growth rates in previous decades. Since this study was done, the Regional District of Nanaimo has experienced lower growth than anticipated with 138,631 residents in the 2006 Census and 146,574 residents in 2011 compared to the predicted population of 158,767. Based on the forecast study and the 2011 Census results, it is anticipated that the Region's population will increase at a slower rate over the next two decades while at the same time growing older.

The Region's population has aged significantly since 1986 with the majority of the population now over the age of 45. Between 2006 and 2011 the median age of the Region's population increased from 46.6 to 49.3. It is predicted that the population will continue to grow older with significant implications for land use, housing, services and employment.

Additional Information about the Population of the Regional District of Nanaimo

Phone: 250-390-6510 | Toll Free: 1-877-607-4111
Fax: 250-390-7511 | E-mail: growthmanagement@rdn.bc.ca
Last Modified:  Feb 9, 2017
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