District population growth leads province 

The Sea to Sky Corridor continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the province, according to a B.C. Stats look at municipal populations published on Dec. 7.

From July 2000 to July 2001, the provincial population grew by 0.9 per cent. The Squamish-Lilloet Regional District posted the highest growth rate at 2.3 per cent. The district population is currently estimated to be approximately 37,131. The East Kootenay region was a close second at 2.3 per cent growth, followed by the Nanaimo and Central Okanagan regions with 1.5 per cent growth.

Fernie is the fastest growing small town (5,500 to 10,000), increasing by 4.6 per cent. Whistler was second with a 3 per cent increase in the last year.

Whistler’s estimated population currently stands at 9,965, up from previous estimates of 9,700.

Pemberton posted the highest population growth in the region at 7.1 per cent, going from 1,655 people to 1,772. Squamish grew by 1.6 per cent, from 15,345 to 15,584, and Lillooet’s population declined by 0.3 per cent over the year to 2,977 residents.

The province’s population estimates are based on a formula developed over 20 years which uses indicators such as residential electrical connections and Old Age Security data, rather than conducting a census.

From an economic standpoint, B.C.’s total debt rose from $15.2 billion in 1999 to $16.1 billion, representing a net liability of $3,979 per person. While this may seem like a lot, our per capita debt is lower than every province but Alberta’s, where they have a net surplus of $837 per person.

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