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Kelowna’s population growing quickly and getting younger: Report

The city’s median age (42.4) is slightly below the provincial median (42.8)
Kelowna skyline. (Photo/Darren Kilby via Wikimedia Commons)

Kelowna’s population stands at 144,576 with a median age of 42.4 years old.

The city’s Community Trends 2022 report shows that Kelowna is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, outpacing other fast-growing cities such as Surrey.

Between 2016 and 2021, the city’s population increased by 13.5 per cent compared to 7.6 per cent in B.C. and 5.2 per cent in Canada.

READ MORE: Kelowna third fastest growing city in Canada

Over the past 25 years, the city had a higher median age than the province, but that started to change in 2006 when the rise in Kelowna’s median age began to slow. The city’s median age is now slightly below the provincial median (42.8).

The decrease, mostly seen from 2016 to 2021, was driven largely by an increase of approximately 9,000 people aged 20 to 44 moving to the city. That group is outpacing other age cohorts.

An increase in people moving to Kelowna from other countries and other parts of Canada, aged 20 to 34, and a reduction in migrants aged 35 to 54, has also contributed to the recent drop in median age.

The report also finds the city’s Indigenous population is growing even faster, and that immigration is driving growth and diversity.

In 2021, more than five percent of residents identified as Indigenous, First Nations, Metis, or Inuit, while 14 percent identified as part of a visible minority group. In 2001, those percentages were 2.3 and 4.6 respectively.

Other findings include that the types of jobs Kelowna residents are working are changing and incomes are going up, but not equally.

The top three sectors in the city, by number of employees, are sales and service, trades, transport and equipment operators, and business, financial, and administrative.

READ MORE: Province eyes additional ‘transit-only’ lane for Kelowna’s W.R. Bennett Bridge: Study


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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