2016 census shows Okotoks’ once high growth rate now slowing

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Okotoks’ once skyrocketing population growth rate has slowed to a crawl.

Results of the 2016 national census show the town’s population reached 28,881 during last year’s count.

Statistics Canada released the first round of results from the 2016 national census today, including the population and dwelling counts.

The federal census results for Okotoks reveal a three per cent increase from the last municipal count in 2015 which showed 28,016 people called Okotoks home. Meanwhile, the Town’s population grew by a modest 17.8 per cent since the 2011 federal census, which showed 24,511 people living in Okotoks.

The Town’s growth has slowed considerably since the heady days of the early 2000s when Okotoks was one of the fastest growing communities in the country. Okotoks grew by just under 43 per cent between 2006 and 2011, and almost 47 per cent from 2001 to 2006.

The census also showed Okotoks had a total of 9,840 dwellings in 2016.

While Okotoks’ growth is slowing down, the Foothills region — the towns, villages, the MD, and hamlets in the area — continued to grow with 70,797 people in the region.

The MD of Foothills’ population is 22,766, up slightly from 21,248 in 2011.

The census also shows 8,689 private dwellings in the MD.

The Town of Black Diamond’s population reached 2,700, up 13.8 per cent from 2,373 in 2011. Just to the west, Turner Valley’s population is 2,559, an eight per cent increase from 2,167 from the 2011 census

The census also shows High River’s population is recovering after the 2013 flood, The town south of Okotoks was home to 13,584 people in 2016 – up from 12,930 in 2011.

The census showed no change in the number of people living in Longview, with 307 residents.

Canada’s population is pegged at 35,151,728, up five per cent from 2011.

Meanwhile, Alberta’s population now exceeds four million. The census counted 4,067,175 Albertans, up 11.6 per cent from five years earlier.

Statistics Canada will release more census information over the year, including data on age, sex and dwelling type on May 3.

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