Among the metropolitan areas for which Statistics Canada has provided estimates, the overall population is estimated to have increased in communities on Vancouver Island, but this is through interprovincial, intraprovincial and international migration.
Estimates were taken from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021.
Interprovincial migration refers to people moving into and out of British Columbia within the region, while intraprovincial migration refers to people moving within the province.
Victoria’s population is estimated to have seen the largest population increase on the island with a population growth of 5,876. The majority of this increase came from interprovincial migration at 5,235.
Nanaimo is the region with the second highest population growth at 1,177, including 1,116 from interprovincial migration.
Port Alberni had the lowest actual population growth at 351, but the percentage growth is similar to other communities on the island at 1.3%. The seven communities on the Island experienced growth of 0.9 to 1.6%.
In terms of natural population increase, none of the island’s seven communities recorded positive numbers in this region.
Statistics Canada defines natural increases as the number of people born in an area relative to the number of deaths.
Victoria’s drop was the largest at -1,184, Campbell River had the smallest at -112.
Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay all saw the majority of their estimated growth from interprovincial migration.
Campbell River, Duncan, Parksville and Port Alberni had intraprovincial migration as the main source of estimated population growth.
Of the seven island communities for which statistics have been released, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Duncan and Parksville experienced negative international population growth – although Courtenay and Duncan only saw population declines by four, Parksville by 19 and Nanaimo by 247 .
All communities except Victoria experienced higher population growth than in 2019-20. Victoria’s population had increased by 6,231 the previous year.