New West in top-10 for population growth. Why that’s good

Chris Campbell

New Westminster is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in B.C., according to the latest numbers from BC Stats.

A look at the chart below showing the top-10 municipalities (5,000+) ranked by population growth (%), 2018 to 2019, reveals New West was tied with Merritt at 2.1% - hitting 79,737 from 78,106.

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New West is a little behind Surrey, which grew at a 2.9% rate.

Personally, I’m not surprised by this. I know several people who recently chose New West to live in because of its community culture and progressive politics, as well as access to SkyTrain.

It’s a great place to live. Some of my family have lived here for decades and they love it.

We’re nearly at the 80,000 mark! We could throw a population party with cake (I’m always trying to get people to host events with cake, but I digress).

But while I see this as a good thing, I imagine others are no so thrilled. There’s always a group of longtime residents who get upset by “outsiders” discovering New West. It’s like when you love a cool indie band, but they start getting popular with dudes who also like Nickelback or Creed.

The difference here is that New West is getting a lot of young people flocking here, which brings a new energy to the community.

There is a small, but vocal group who also get angry about high-density housing and so I’m sure New West growing quickly will induce them to set their hair on fire.

new west growth
BC Stats graphic

They shouldn’t. It’s not fair for people who bought their single-family homes for peanuts decades ago to try and block others from accessing more affordable housing.

I’m not saying they shouldn’t make sure New West council proceeds with growth responsibly, but this tiny-and-loud group seems to want to set up some kind of border wall so we can return to the 1950s.

It’s just not reasonable.

At the provincial level, the B.C. population was estimated at 5,071,336 as of July 1, 2019. B.C.’s population grew by 1.4% between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 – an increase of over 70,000 persons. Regional changes varied from growth of 2.1% to population declines of -4.0%.

This is the first population estimate in B.C. using both BC Stats and Statistics Canada data. 

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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