Recent History – 1998
By Cees Mond, Daily News Staff, Dec. 16, 1998
BC Statistics estimates Dawson Creek grew in the past year, and more than the provincial average.
According to BC Stats municipal population estimates, British Columbia continues to be one of the fastest growing provinces in Canada, recording a population growth rate of 1.3 per cent, or 50,600 persons between July 1, 1997 and July 1, 1998.
With a population growth of 1.4 per cent, Dawson Creek gained 158 people in the same period and had a population of 11,830.
Dawson Creek had the third-highest growth in the region. Fort St. John grew 2.3 per cent (370 people) to a 16,342 population and Taylor grew 3.7 per cent (41 people) to a 1,137 population.
Elsewhere in the Peace, only Pouce Coupe grew with 18 people (1.9 per cent) to 949.
Chetwynd, Hudson’s Hope and Tumbler Ridge lost people, as a result of the downturn in the forestry and mining industries.
Tumbler Ridge lost the most as 318 people moved out (-8.2 per cent) between July 1, 1997 and July 1, 1998, and 3,572 people remain.
A census done by the municipality of Tumbler Ridge last month determined that, after all the mine layoffs, there are now only 2,633 people living in Tumbler Ridge, a drop of 32.3 per cent since July 1, 1997.
Chetwynd’s loss was estimated at 118 people (-3.8 per cent) and the municipality dipped again below the 3,000 mark with a 2,963 population. Hudson’s Hope lost 1.5 per cent of its population, 18 people, and now sits at a population of 1,151.
In the Peace River Regional District as a whole, population grew with 633 people to 60,395, or 1.1 per cent.
BC Stats credits the Peace region’s growth to the booming oil and gas industry.
Compared to other cities its size, Dawson Creek was on the better side of average. Quesnel (now 9,009 population) lost 1.0 per cent, Williams Lake (11,309) gained 0.9 per cent, Nelson (9,743) lost 2.2 per cent, Comox (11,972) gained 3.0 per cent, Pitt Meadows (14,546) gained 1.0 per cent and Powell River (13,969) lost 0.1 per cent.
BC Stats’ municipal estimates are calculated through a regional estimation model that has been developed and refined over the past 18 years.
The model, which uses indicators such as residential electrical connections and Old Age Security data, has enabled BC Stats to produce relatively accurate population estimates without the high cost of conducting a census.
This article is taken from the Peace River Block Daily News, Dawson Creek, with the permission of the publisher. The Daily News retains all rights relating to this material. The information in this article is intended solely for research or general interest purposes.