Kelowna is second only to Lower Mainland in forecast growth. The population of the Central Okanagan jumped by 17,563 or 10.8 per cent during the past five years, making this region the fourth-fastest growing in Canada.
The Kelowna metropolitan area - as it is described by Statistics Canada - had 179,839 people from Peachland to Lake Country in 2011 compared to 162,278 in 2006.
That percentage increase was greater than that of the national rate at 5.9 per cent and the B.C. rate at seven per cent.
Kelowna ranked No. 22 in population among the country's 33 census metropolitan areas. Canada's population on census day was 33,476,688. This shows the incredible role that the university (UBC Okanagan) is playing in our growth, migration from within British Columbia, and also the continued efforts to bring both skilled workers and entrepreneurs from overseas into our community. Growth may have slowed during the past couple of years, but the Okanagan remains a desirable place to live, whether it's the lifestyle that everybody likes, the climate or the lakes. It's exciting to be in the fourth most-rapidly growing regions in the country.
Exceeding 30,000 was a milestone for West Kelowna. West Kelowna is fortunate to have a significant amount of undeveloped land already zoned for growth, for many years in the future. It needs to look at the housing mix, with possibly decreasing such a strong focus on single-family housing. That's the way of the future in terms of sustainability. As people age, there is generally a natural progression in their housing form. With growth in the emerging communities of West Kelowna and Lake Country also shows, that we weathered a fairly ugly recession and are certainly on the road to recovery.