News Local

City population tops 10,000

The 2011 census numbers are out and the City of Winkler is officially over the 10,000 population mark.

Winkler recorded a 17.2 per cent increase from 9,106 to 10,670 over the last five years.

The results also showed Morden's population as having jumped by 18.9 per cent from 6,571 to 7,812, and giving it the option of seeking city status (available to communities with at least 7,500 residents.)

The RM of Stanley outpaced everyone with a huge 31.2 per cent jump from 6,367 to 8,356.

Steinbach was the fastest-growing city in Manitoba with a growth rate of 22.2 per cent and a 2011 population of 13,524.

Other communities also did well according to the new census numbers: Altona - 10.2 per cent increase (3,709 - 4,088); Carman - 8.8 per cent (2,781 - 3,027); Plum Coulee - 9.5 per cent (770 - 843); Manitou - 12.5 per cent (718 - 808); RM of Thompson - 11 per cent (1,259 - 1,397); RM of Rhineland - 6 per cent (4,125 - 4,373); Morris - 9.4 per cent (1,643 - 1,797)

A few posted only minor increases, while a few saw decreases particularly west and north into the escarpment: Gretna - 3.1 per cent decrease (574 - 556); RM of Pembina - 8.8 per cent decrease (1,712 - 1,561); Crystal CIty - 4 per cent decrease (400 - 384); Pilot Mound - 0.8 per cent increase (630 - 635); RM of Lorne - 5.9 per cent decrease; RM of Louise - 11.5 per cent increase (819 - 913).

Immigration is one of the key factors driving growth not only here but across the province as well.

Overall, the number of immigrants to Manitoba has doubled, according to the Canada Census. More than 64,000 newcomers arrived from 2006-2011, according to new census data, twice the number that came from 2001-2006.

Turns out many of them moved to small towns, as the province grew at a faster rate than the City of Winnipeg: 5.2% to 4.8%.

And it's no longer rounding up to say that 1.2 million people live in the province. The official tally is 1,208,268, up from 1,148,410 in 2006.

Winnipeg's population grew by 30,166 to a total of 663,617.


- Between 2006 and 2011, Canada's population grew by 5.9%, up from a 5.4% increase during 2001-06.

- That 5.6% growth rate was the highest among G8 countries. It was also the highest during 2001-06.

- Every province and most territories experienced population increases.


Booming economies in provinces rich in natural resources are sending a clear message to Canadians: Go west.

Western Canada outstripped Quebec and the Atlantic provinces for the first time ever in terms of population, according to the 2011 census.

Ontario, meanwhile, saw tepid growth - the lowest since the early 1980s - growing 5.7% while still remaining Canada's most populous province.

The numbers point to a rush towards new opportunities as Canadians switch provinces seeking jobs.

"This phenomenon is related to the economy," said Laurent Martel, a senior demographer with StatsCan. "The natural resources sector is booming - this is an important factor."

Saskatchewan saw the fastest increase in its growth rate after seeing its population sag between 1996 and 2006. The province attracted 28,000 immigrants and 12,000 Canadians, pushing its population past one million people.

Martel said some of those people might have returned to the province because of its booming potash, oil and natural gas sectors.

Of all the provinces, Alberta saw the largest overall gain, growing 10.8% since the 2006 population count.

Calgary also saw the greatest boom in new residents of all Canadian cities, with a 12.6% increase. Edmonton saw the second largest increase, and smaller cities and towns throughout the province outstripped the population growth seen in other regions.

Atlantic provinces are also growing after seeing years of modest or no growth.

Newfoundland saw the biggest turnaround, growing by 1.8% - its first gain since the early 1980s.

The population growth rate doubled in the Yukon - to 11.6% - a trend also seen in Manitoba, which doubled its growth .

British Columbia's population rose 7% from 5.3% in the last population survey, and Quebec saw a slight population increase of 4.7%.

Canada's overall population increased by 5.9% - the highest out of all the G8 countries. The country's population now stands at roughly 33.5 million.

Immigration was the main driver of the population increase, which has been the case for a decade. Canada accepts over 250,000 newcomers a year.