Kitimat sees population decrease in 2016 census

The District of Kitimat's population shrank -2.4 per cent from 2011 to 2016, according to the latest census data.

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The District of Kitimat’s population shrank -2.4 per cent from 2011 to 2016, according to the latest census data released by Statistics Canada today.

Kitimat’s 2016 population was 8,131, down from 8,335 in 2011, the last year that the long-form census was conducted. A decade ago, Kitimat’s population was just under 9,000 at 8,987, and in 2001, 10,285 people lived in Kitimat. Kitimat’s population hit its peak in 1982, with an estimated 14,500 residents. That number had dropped to an estimated 12,500 by 1986.

The town’s population dropped under 10,000 people for the first time since 1967 in 2005, after the closure of the Methanex plant in November of that year.

Just down the road, Kitamaat Village’s population grew 2.1 per cent between 2011 and 2016, up to 525 residents from 514.

The Kitimat-Stikine Regional District’s population as a whole only increased by six people, according to the new data. The regional district’s population in 2011 was 37,361, up to 37,367 in 2016

Terrace had a population change of 1.6 per cent, with the 2016 population now sitting at 11,643, up from 11,486 in 2011.

Prince Rupert’s population decreased roughly the same amount as Kitimat’s, seeing a loss of -2.3 per cent between 2011 and 2016. Their current population sits at 12,220, down from 12,508 in 2011.

New Hazleton saw a population decrease of -12.9 per cent over the five years, with a current population of 580, down from 666 in 2011.

Smithers had a nominal decrease of roughly three people, down to 5,401 from 5,404 in 2011.

BC’s population overall increased 5.6 per cent, up to 4.6 million from 4.4 million in 2011. Canada also had a 5 per cent increase, up to 35 million from 33 million in 2011.

One in four municipalities, or 23 per cent with at least 5,000 inhabitants showed a population decrease from 2011 to 2016, according to Statistics Canada.

Data for all Canadian municipalities can be found by clicking this link and entering in a place name in the right hand search bar.