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Chilliwack area had second-fastest population growth rate in Canada

Census 2021 shows Chilliwack CMA population rose 12.1%, compared to Abbotsford-Mission 8.64%
The Vedder River looking east to Mt. Cheam on Sept. 9, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

The Chilliwack area is growing by leaps and bounds.

The population for the Chilliwack census metropolitan area (CMA) was the second fastest-growing in Canada next to Kelowna’s, the 2021 Census results showed on Thursday (Feb. 9).

From 2016 to 2021, the Chilliwack CMA grew by 12.1 per cent, leap-frogging from a population of 101,512, to 113,767.

“Chilliwack is obviously being widely recognized as a great place to hang your hat,” said Mayor Ken Popove said about the population growth.

To compare with other cities, Kelowna CMA’s population spiked the most, 14 per cent, while the Abbotsford-Mission CMA rose by 8.4 per cent.

Four of the five fastest growing CMAs in Canada were in B.C.: Kelowna, Chilliwack, Nanaimo and Kamloops.

During the five years leading up to the 2021 census, the population growth rate of all 42 CMAs in Canada was 6.1 per cent.

Mayor Popove pointed to factors like the beautiful revitalization of Chilliwack’s downtown, and both malls on the south side undergoing substantive rejuvenation, as part of the draw for people.

“We’ve also spent north of $15 million on infrastructure upgrades, and will continue to do that,” Popove said. “Our amenities are second to none. We have 100 parks and trails, and we’re in close proximity to ski hills, fishing, and golf courses.”

The “cherry on top” the mayor said is that Chilliwack has consistently maintained the lowest tax rates in the entire Lower Mainland for both its business multiplier and the residential rate.

RELATED: Here’s what Chilliwack census numbers looked like 5 years ago

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering the arts, city hall, as well as Indigenous, and climate change stories.
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