Shaping Our Future
Relevant Documents

There are a variety of documents that you can read to learn more about growth management issues facing the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Summary of Key Challenges

RGS Review Background Reports

Other Important Documents

Studies and Reports from Previous RGS Reviews

The following background reports and studies were used to inform previous reviews and implementation of the Regional Growth Strategy.

Best Practices Brochure

Population

RDN Population (2001 & 2006 Census Data)
The Regional District of Nanaimo had a population of 138,631 in 2006. In 2006, twenty-six percent (35,948) of the residents in the region lived in electoral areas and seventy-three percent (101,848) of the residents in the region lived in municipalities, allocated as follows:

Area Population
Electoral Area 2001 2006
A 6,423 6,751
B 3,522 4,050
C 1,167 2,508
D (* See Note below) 4,656 0
E 4,820 5,462
F 5,546 6,680
G 7,041 7,023
H 3,108 3,474
Sub-Total 36,283 35,948

Area Population
Municipality 2001 2006
City of Nanaimo 73,000 78,692
City of Parksville 10,323 10,993
District of Lantzville (* See Note below)   3,661
Town of Qualicum Beach 6,921 8,502
Sub-Total 90,244 101,848

*The population of Area D was incorporated into Area C and Lantzville

Area Population
Indian Reserves 2001 2006
Nanaimo 1 238 279
Nanaimo 2 20 21
Nanaimo 3 33 50
Nanaimo 4 158 208
Nanoose 207 191
Qualicum 71 86
Sub-Total 727 835

Total Population (RDN) 127,016 138,631
Source: Statistics Canada, www.statscan.ca (2001and 2006 Census Census)
* Note that Urban Systems 2007 calculated 2006 regional population to be 144,317 - this is the starting point for growth projections used for the second Regional Growth Strategy Review and 2010 draft.
 

Past Population Growth

The population of the region increased from 77,624 residents in 1981 to 138,631 residents in 2006. This means the population in the region increased 79% during that time, at a rate of approximately 3% per year, on average.

Year Population
1981 77,624
1986 82,714
1991 102,411
1996 121,783
2001 127,016
2006 138,631
Source: Statistics Canada

Growth rates have varied over the last 25 years. The economic 'bust' of the early 1980s had a dramatic effect on the region, with the growth rate dropping from 25% to 7%. Economic recovery coincided with a more than doubling of the growth rate in the region in the late 1980s. Another economic downturn in the late 1990s saw growth rates fall significantly to 4%. From 2001 to 2006, the rate of population growth more than doubled to 9%.

Census Period Census Period Growth Rate (%)
1976-1981 25
1981-1986 7
1986-1991 24
1991-1996 19
1996-2001 4
2001-2006 9
Source: Statistics Canada

Future Population Growth

The population of the region is projected to increase to between 209,014 and 231,184 residents by 2036 (BC Statistics, www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca, Urban Systems 2007). Using an estimated population of 144,317 residents in 2006 (Urban Systems 2007), this represents potential increases in population ranging from 45-60% between 2006 and 2036, at a rate of approximately 1.5-2% to per year, on average.

Of more importance is the change in composition of the population. The region's population has aged significantly since 1986 with the majority of the population now over the age of 45. The fastest growing age group between 1986 and 2006 was the sector of the population over the age of 65. This trend is expected to continue which has significant implications for land use, housing, services and employment.

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