News Local

Census data shows recent growth

Greg Vandermeulen

The R.Ms. of Morris and Rhineland, and the towns of Altona, Plum Coulee and Morris boasted positive growth from 2006-2011, the census report released Feb. 8 showed. But while they may be the region's winners, there were some losers as well.

Gretna, Emerson and the R.M. of Montcalm saw population drops over the four years, while the R.M. of Franklin remained constant with their population completely unchanged at 1,768.

Manitoba's population reached 1,208,268 in May 2011, an increase of 5.2 per cent. The province was fifth in population growth compared to other provinces.

It's also double that of the previous five-year period, according to Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade Minister Peter Bjornson.

"This kind of growth hasn't been seen since 1961," he said. "More and more people are making our growing province home."

There were different averages. Although the provincial and cities growth rate was 5.2 per cent, towns grew 6.4 per cent, villages and rural municipalities grew 4.1 per cent and First Nation communities grew 11.6 per cent.

Steinbach was the fastest growing city with a growth rate of 22.2 per cent to a population of 13,524. Winkler isn't far behind, boasting a growth rate of 17.2 per cent, to 10,670.

Much of that could be due to immigration. "Manitoba's provincial nominee program has been tremendously successful in attracting skilled professionals who have settled in communities across the province," he said. "Today these new Manitobans are investing in our economy and helping build a strong future for our province."

In The Red River Valley Echo's readership area, the R.M. of Morris had the strongest growth rate, of 12.7 per cent to 2,999. Altona followed with a growth rate of 10.2 per cent officially moving them over the 4,000 mark to 4,088.

Plum Coulee grew by 9.5 per cent to 843, Morris grew by 9.4 per cent to 1,797, the R.M. of Rhineland grew by 6.0 per cent to 4,373, and Roseau River First Nation grew by 3.5 per cent to 588.

Losing out in this region was Gretna, who saw population drop by 3.1 per cent to 556, Emerson which dropped by 2.6 per cent to 671 and the R.M. of Montcalm who saw their population drop by 0.6 per cent to 1,309 (a loss of eight people).

The largest growth rate in the province was Niverville, who saw their population rise from 2,464 to 3,540, an increase of 43.7 per cent.

The biggest loss went to Lynn Lake who saw 32.5 per cent of their population leave, from 714 to 482.