Newly released census figures confirm what many Squamish locals already know — this town is growing fast.
On Feb. 9, the initial results of the 2021 national census were released, showing that Squamish’s population has risen to 23,819, up from 19,497 during the last census conducted in 2016.
This growth represents an increase of over 22% from that year. The provincial average is 7.6%, while the national average is 5.2%.
There was a similar increase in the number of private dwellings occupied in Squamish.
In 2021, that number was about 9,100, which was an increase of over 26% from 2016.
That amount of growth allowed the census to name Squamish the fourth fastest-growing B.C. subdivision with over 5,000 people. The top community in that category was Langford, which had an increase of 32% since 2016.
In B.C., Squamish has been labelled the 32nd most populated municipality. As of 2015, there were about 190 municipalities registered in the province.
Nationally, this makes Squamish place as the 186th most populated place in Canada, out of a total of about 4,800 communities.
There were also results in the census for communities outside of the Distirct’s borders.
Area D, referring to the rural zone surrounding Squamish, had no population change, staying steady at 1,057.
There were, however, some significant changes for some Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) on-reserve populations.
The Kowtain 17 reserve, around the Garibaldi Estates, had a population jump to 59, up from 35, signifying a 69% increase.
Cheakamus 11, bordering Brackendale and the Squamish Valley, experienced similarly large growth to 95, up from 57 — a 67% increase.
There were big population losses, however, for Seaichem 16. It dropped to 15, down from 51 — a 71% drop from 2016. Seaichem is located by the eagle viewing dike, around the Watershed Grill.
The second biggest population drop for a reserve occurred in Yekwaupsum 18, which is on Government Road, near the railway museum.
That population dropped to 17, down from 28 — a 39% decrease from 2016.
The biggest reserve population in the Squamish remains Waiwakum 14, in Brackendale at the end of Axen Road. It most recently recorded 224 residents, up from 175, which is an increase of 28%.