Chilliwack was the third-fastest growing city in British Columbia in 2019 – among cities with more than 10,000 people – behind only Surrey and Langford.
At a projected population of 94,534 for 2019, that’s a 2.6 per cent increase over the 92,147 in 2018, according to B.C. Statistics. Since 2011, the city’s population has grown 18.7 per cent from 79,653.
The second-largest city in B.C., Surrey, grew 2.9 per cent from 2018 to 2019 from 568,144 to 584,526, while Langford on Vancouver Island had the fastest growth of communities with more than 10,000 growing 5.2 per cent from 40,557 to 42,653.
British Columbia’s population increased 1.4 per cent year-over-year from 5,001,170 to 5,071,336.
When looking at the larger areas known as census metropolitan areas (CMA) or census agglomerations (CA), Chilliwack is the fastest growing in all of B.C. and has been for the last three years.
The Chilliwack CA includes the city along with Cultus Lake to the south, the Chilliwack River Valley, as far east along Highway 1 to near Laidlaw, and Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs to the north.
That area’s population projection for 2019 was 114,258, up 2.5 per cent from 111,497 in 2018.
The next fastest growth was in the CMAs of Kelowna and Abbotsford-Mission, both at 1.9 per cent.
Chilliwack was the 13th largest city in B.C. in 2019 moving up from the 14th spot overtaking Victoria for the first time.
When 2016 federal census data was released, only the Township of Langley and Surrey grew faster than Chilliwack since the 2011 census. At a growth of 7.5 per cent over a five-year period, Chilliwack was up to 83,788 in 2016.
Over the last four years, the Chilliwack CA saw the highest percentage rate of growth of any CA or CMA in B.C. except for one community in one year, Squamish in 2015-2016.
That leading population growth time period coincides with the all-time high real estate sales levels in Chilliwack and area.
It should be noted that B.C. Statistics projections should be taken with a grain of salt as they are made in the middle of the year in question, and are often not quite accurate. For example, the projection for 2018 for Chilliwack was actually short by more than 1,200 people. If that same adjustment needed to be made for 2019, it would mean the population last year rose by 3.9 per cent rather than the 2.9 per cent projected in numbers released this month.
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