News Release - February 8, 2012
CENSUS SHOWS SASKATCHEWAN GREW BY 65,000 PEOPLE IN FIVE YEARS
Most Growth Ever in Any Five-Year Census Period
The 2011 Census count was released today and it shows Saskatchewan grew by 65,224 between 2006 and 2011. That is by far the largest population growth in any census period since Statistics Canada started doing the Census every five years in 1956.
The population growth also marks a complete reversal from the previous two census periods 1996 to 2001 and 2001 to 2006, which saw Saskatchewan's population drop by about 11,000 people during each five-year period. In its Census release, Statistics Canada called Saskatchewan a "turnaround," saying: "A complete turnaround occurred in Saskatchewan, where the population increased 6.7 per cent between 2006 and 2011, following declines of 1.1 per cent in each of the two previous intercensal periods."
Premier Brad Wall said the new census numbers show Saskatchewan is on the right track.
"Saskatchewan has gone from a province where people were moving out, to a province where people are choosing to stay and moving in," Wall said. "That is because of our growing economy, plenty of job opportunities and our great quality of life.
"Saskatchewan is simply the best place in Canada to live, to work, to raise a family and to build a life. More and more people are now discovering that and it is why our population is growing."
Saskatchewan's population as of the Census date in May 2011 was 1,033,381. That is somewhat lower than recent Statistics Canada estimates of Saskatchewan's population because of the Census "undercount" - the fact that some people are missed by the Census.
Statistics Canada will estimate this undercount and make an adjustment to the figures in 2013. Until then, the current quarterly population estimates will remain the official population estimates for the province. Saskatchewan's quarterly population estimate stood at 1,063,535 as of October 1, 2011.
Saskatchewan population growth of 6.7 per cent was the third highest among the provinces, behind only Alberta at 10.8 per cent and BC at 7.0 per cent. The three western provinces were the only provinces ahead of the national growth rate of 5.9 per cent.
Saskatchewan cities grew by 8.4 per cent from 2006 to 2011 while towns grew by 8.0 per cent. Villages in Saskatchewan grew by 4.7 per cent, First Nations grew by 15.7 per cent and northern communities grew by 3.2 per cent. Rural Municipalities and resort villages both saw their populations drop slightly with RMs down 0.9 per cent and Resort Villages down -9.0 per cent.
Unlike the 2006 Census which saw several Saskatchewan cities decline in population, every city enjoyed population growth in the 2011 Census. Saskatoon grew by 19,781 people or 9.8 per cent to 222,189 while Regina grew to 193,100 - an increase of 13,818 people or 7.7 per cent. Prince Albert grew by 1,002 to 35,129 and Moose Jaw grew by 1,142 to 33,274.
The fastest rate of growth of any Saskatchewan city took place in Martensville, which just became a city in 2009. Martensville grew from 4,978 in 2006 to 7,716 in 2011 - a whopping growth rate of 55 per cent. In fact, Martensville was the second-fastest growing city of over 5,000 in all of Canada - just edged out by Milton, Ontario which grew by 56.5 per cent.
White City near Regina was the fastest growing town in Saskatchewan with a growth rate of 70.2 per cent - from 1,113 in 2006 to 1,894 in 2011.
Wall said the 2011 Census paints a clear picture of growth in every part of the province and marks a complete turnaround from the previous 2006 Census.
"Over half of Saskatchewan cities and 85 per cent of Saskatchewan towns saw their population decline between 2001 and 2006," Wall said. "Some people saw this decline as inevitable and irreversible. They were wrong."
Wall said the 2011 Census tells a completely different story.
"All 15 of Saskatchewan's cities and nearly 80 per cent of Saskatchewan towns saw their population increase from 2006 and 2011 - a complete turnaround from the previous five years," Wall said. "Our government will keep working hard to keep Saskatchewan growing and to meet both the opportunities and the challenges of growth."
To view the Census report visit http://www.stats.gov.sk.ca/stats/pop/Censuspopulation2011.pdf.
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