Friday, January 29, 2016

Provincial population estimates for Prince Rupert at odds with those of the City

Part of last year's LNG GO plan/Major Projects Planning population study initiatives included the City of Prince Rupert's own version of the census, a project which was one part on line based and one part featuring a hands on approach to determining the population numbers for the city.

As part of the January 11th City Council Session, City Planner Zeno Krekic went over a number of reports and provided a stream of data as part of his overall review of all the work of the last year.

Recounting for Council how the population review of the Spring and Summer had given the city the data to determine that the population of the City was now just under 14,000 residents, listed at  the 13,766 mark.

City Planner Zeno Krekic at Prince Rupert City Concil
on January 11th where he outlined that the estimated
population of Prince Rupert was just under 14,000 residents

However, figures released this week by StatsBC suggest a different counting of the heads, with the BC government agency coming to the conclusion that the City of Prince Rupert's population was 11,386 in 2015,  down 443 people from the last time they tabulated their figures one year ago.

That decrease makes for the lowest number recorded for Prince Rupert by BC Stats in the last five years.

It also leaves a significant difference of opinion between the City and the Province as to how many residents are calling Prince Rupert home these days, making for a gap of  2,380 people between the two results.

In the course of his report to Council Mr. Krekic noted that the City of Prince Rupert findings  from 2015 included a shadow population that BC Stats does not take into account.

In an article in the Prince George Citizen, BC Stats outlined that their method of determining population numbers involves using the federal census and using a number of provincial indicators such as BC Hydro connections and BC health numbers to deliver their estimates.

According to Stats BC, the population of Port Edward also declined in the most recent survey period settling at 500 down 33 from the last time that the government took a look at the numbers.

Population numbers are important to both the District of Port Edward and the City of Prince Rupert as provincial and federal funding monies are often based on population.

The population declines found by BC Stats were common for the most part across much of Northern British Columbia, with Terrace dropping to 11,164 a decline of 33 people while further to the east the largest community in Northern BC, Prince George saw a population drop of 1,958 with the current estimated population to be 71,363.

For those that wish to compare the numbers and the studies, some of the information below offers up a good place to start.

Mr. Krekic's presentation to Council of January 11th can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive, and there is also a fair amount of data on the Population Study of last year available from the City's website.

You can also look over the BC Stats findings and download their findings from their website here.

Short of everyone in town gathering down on the waterfront for a head count on a sunny afternoon, we will all get another chance to be counted later this year, when the Federal Census takes place in May.

The federal head count will make for a comprehensive data collection project and perhaps the one that will provide the final grade on whether the City or the Province has their math right.

For more items related to discussions from Prince Rupert City Council see our archive page here.

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