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More highrise living, fewer single-detached homes in New Westminster: census

But fewer people in the city are living alone than they were five years ago.
New Westminster downtown highrises
Anyone familiar with the New Westminster skyline won't be surprised to learn that more people are living in taller apartment buildings, and fewer in single-family homes, than they were five years ago.

More people in New Westminster are living in taller apartment buildings and fewer in single-family homes, according to the latest census data.

Statistics Canada data from the 2021 Canadian census shows 36,100 “occupied private dwellings” in New Westminster, up from 32,705 in the previous census in 2016 – about a 10.4% increase.

The proportion of single-family homes has dropped in that time, from 15.3% in 2016 to 13.8% in 2021.

Significantly more people are living in mid- or highrise apartment buildings of five or more storeys – which accounted for 32% of dwellings in 2016 but 34.7% in 2021.

Low-rise apartments, in buildings of fewer than five storeys, made up 34.8% of dwellings in 2021, down from 32% in 2016.

All told, apartments in buildings accounted for 69.5% of dwellings in New West in 2021, up from 68.5% in 2016.

Other dwelling categories included:

  • Semi-detached house: 0.6% in 2021, the same as 2016
  • Row house: 5.7% in 2021, up from 4.9% in 2016
  • Apartment or flat in a duplex: 10.2% in 2021, down from 10.6% in 2016

Fewer people living alone in New Westminster: Census 2021

Fewer people in New Westminster are living alone than they were five years ago.

The 2021 data shows 36.7% of households were a single person, down from 38.3% in 2016.

Two-person households now make up 34.2% of households, compared to 33.4% in 2016.

The number of households with three people remains fairly steady, at 13.7% in 2021 compared to 13.4% in 2016. Four-person households, meanwhile, now make up 10% of the population, a slight increase from 9.6% in 2016.

The proportion of households with five or more people remains the same, at 5.3%.

Previously released population data shows New Westminster remains one of the most densely populated cities in the country, with more than 5,000 people per square kilometre.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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