A new B.C. Stats report forecasts its population set to hit 7.9 million by 2046

BC population growth. Image credit: Unsplash/Joseph Chan

Vancouver/CMEDIA: A new British Columbia (B.C.) Stats report, Sustaining Growth: Population and Demography for B.C., has reportedly forecasted that B.C.’s population is reportedly projected to reach 7.9 million by 2046.

Reflecting trends seen in numbers released by Statistics Canada in December 2023, the report  provides a summary of demographic data to support program, policy and service development across government.

British Columbia’s population is projected to reach 7.9 million by 2046, the report states, up 44% compared to 5.5 million in 2023.

8.2 percent of non-permanent residents comprise B.C.’s population.

The population of B.C. experienced an annual growth rate of 3 percent from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, marking the highest annual increase since 1974.

It is estimated that international migrants will fill 46 percent of the new jobs between 2024 and 2033.

The province has four of Canada’s five fastest-growing metropolitan areas, Kelowna, Chilliwack, Kamloops and Nanaimo, all of which are outside the Metro Vancouver region, saw growth of 10 percent or more in between 2016 and 2021..

The province’s largest cities remain unchanged, with Vancouver in the top position followed by Surrey, Burnaby, Richmond and Abbotsford.

According to BC Stats, the coming decades would reportedly witness the majority of growth forecasted to be concentrated in the Lower Mainland/ Southwest region of the province.

Changing immigration policies leading to higher federal immigration targets are resulting in higher population growth both for Canada and B.C. 

The B.C. government is continuing to work with the federal government to ensure newcomers have the support they need as 

Co-ordinated approach to assessing the impact of population growth on existing and emerging policy and programs is also being done by the provincial ministries.

The number of births in B.C. , according to BC Stats has been lower than the number of deaths since 2021.

With B.C.’s birth rates remaining steady since 2000, there is a hike in the number of annual deaths as the population ages, .

As of 2022, people aged 65 and up accounted for nearly one in five British Columbia residents, according to the report.

According to the report, people in British Columbia are older, on average, than in the rest of Canada and the province’s fertility rate is lower. 

Population data in this report is available online at BC Stats’ population estimates and projections for British Columbia and is updated regularly:  https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/data/statistics/people-population-community/population

To access BC Stats’ population estimates and projections for British Columbia, visit: https://bcstats.shinyapps.io/popApp/

To read the British Columbia Labour Market Outlook, 2023 edition, visit: https://www.workbc.ca/research-labour-market/bcs-labour-market-outlook-2023-edition

B.C. population hikes