” … the perception of change increases.”

That’s a Priceism I’ve used for years, based on my political experience.  I noticed it particularly in the West End, where the rate of change had dramatically diminished since the 1960s and ’70s – yet people believed, with the approval of a handful of towers, that the rate of change had dramatically increased.  The same with the city, and even more in the region.

And yet:



That data is for the CMA, the Census Metropolitan Area – or basically Metro Vancouver.  Here are the actual population numbers:


So even though the population has increased, the rate of that growth slowed down over the past five years compared to the previous half decade.

And the rate in the last five years in the City of Vancouver was even less:

  • In 2016, the enumerated population of Vancouver (City) was 631,486, which represents a change of 4.6% from 2011. This compares to the provincial average of 5.6% and the national average of 5.0%.

In the longer view, the population growth has been steady, with little in the way of major increases or declines:


Choose where you like on the Goldilocks scale, but one observation I think we can rule out: Growth is “out of control.” Not.  But it’s often the precondition used by some to justify disruptive changes in policy, particularly in migration.  There may be other reasons to intervene in the type of growth, or for reasons of environmental sustainability – but an unprecedented change in the rate of growth is not one of them.