Chilliwack is among the faster growing communities in the Fraser Valley, according to 2016 census data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday.
The city’s population was counted at 83,788 when the census was taken in May 2016, that’s up 7.5 per cent from the 77,936 in 2011.
Only the Township of Langley at 12.6 per cent up to 117,285 and Surrey at 10.6 per cent up to 517,887 saw faster increases over the five-year period. Those communities were one and two in the entire Lower Mainland for population increase.
The District of Kent was up 7.1 per cent to 6,067, Mission up 6.6 per cent to 38,833 and Abbotsford was up 5.9 per cent to 141,397.
Hope saw a 3.6 per cent increase to 6,181 and Harrison Hot Springs saw a remarkable zero per cent increase from 1,468 residents in 2011 to that exact same number in 2016.
(For a list of all Lower Mainland communities see below.)
Overall the Canadian population grew five per cent from 2011 to 2016 from 33.5 million to 35.2 million.
Census data is gathered by municipality but the country is also divided up into census agglomerations (CA) and census metropolitan areas (CMAs), which are formed by one or more adjacent municipalities centred on a population centre. A CA must have a population of at least 10,000 and a CMA must have a population of at least 100,000.
In the Lower Mainland there are only three: the Vancouver CMA includes everything from the ocean to Langley; the Abbotsford-Mission CMA; and the Chilliwack CA, which includes the city, some Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) Areas, Cultus Lake, the Chilliwack River Valley, Harrison Mills, Harrison Hot Springs, Kent and east to Jones Lake.
Of the 26 CMAs/CAs in the province, the Chilliwack CA was the third fastest growing up 8.1 per cent from 93,882 in 2011 to 101,512 in 2016.
Squamish was tops up 13.8 per cent to 19,893 and Kelowna was second up 8.4 per cent to 194,862.
Vancouver CMA was up 6.5 per cent to 2,463,431 and Abbotsford-Mission CMA was up 6.1 per cent to 180,518.
As for the nearby FVRD areas, Popkum/Bridal Falls (Area D) saw the biggest increase of 13.6 per cent from 1,346 to 1,529.
Cultus Lake/Columbia Valley/Lindell Beach (Area H) increased 4.4 per cent from 1,769 to 1,847, while the Chilliwack River Valley (Area E) saw a 3.1 per cent decline in population from 1,589 to 1,540.
Seabird Island was the local Indian Reserve with the biggest jump in population up 29.1 per cent from 594 in 2011 to 767 in 2016.