New census data: Population of Corner Brook fell behind national growth rate

The Canadian Press
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New census data shows the population of Corner Brook fell below the national growth rate over the last five years - a period of time that saw the country spiral into the most serious economic tailspin since the Great Depression.  

People walk by the new Corner Brook City Hall on West Street on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011.

Statistics Canada released the first batch of numbers from the 2011 census on Wednesday and the population of Corner Brook decreased by 1.0 per cent since the last census in 2006.

The city's growth rate was below the national growth rate of 5.9 per cent, while the population of Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 1.8 per cent.

When the 2011 census was taken last May 10, the population of Corner Brook was 19,886, compared with 20,083 from the 2006 census.

Canada's population on census day was 33,476,688, Statistics Canada reported.

The national census is conducted every five years. The information published Wednesday is the first of several releases of data to come from Statistics Canada over the next year and longer that will eventually paint a detailed picture of the country, right down to the local level - including age breakdowns of the population, family makeup, languages spoken, immigration and ethnic origin, the level of education attained and income earned.

At the national level, the 2011 census showed Canada's population grew the fastest of the G8 countries over the last five years - ahead of the United States (4.4 per cent), the United Kingdom (3.5 per cent), Italy (3.2 per cent), France (2.8 per cent), Russia (0.1 per cent), Japan (no change) and Germany (which had a population decrease of 0.8 per cent).

The western provinces, where the recession had less of an impact than in central and eastern Canada, led the way in population growth. Alberta saw the highest increase at 10.8 per cent, followed by British Columbia (7.0 per cent) and Saskatchewan (6.7 per cent).

Manitoba (5.2 per cent) was the only western province with a population increase below the national average. Other provinces below the national growth rate were Nova Scotia (0.9 per cent), Newfoundland and Labrador (1.8 per cent), New Brunswick (2.9 per cent), Prince Edward Island (3.2 per cent), Quebec (4.7 per cent) and Ontario (5.7 per cent). Among the northern territories, the population changed by 0.0 per cent in the Northwest Territories, 11.6 per cent in the Yukon and 8.3 in Nunavut.

Ontario is still the country's most populous province, with a population of 12,851,821. The population of other provinces and territories: Quebec, 7,903,001; British Columbia, 4,400,057; Alberta, 3,645,257; Manitoba, 1,208,268; Saskatchewan, 1,033,381; Nova Scotia, 921,727; New Brunswick, 751,171; Newfoundland and Labrador, 514,536; Prince Edward Island, 140,204; Northwest Territories, 41,462; Yukon, 33,897 and Nunavut, 31,906.

Here is a local breakdown of census population information for communities in the western region:

Community         2011         2006        % change


Massey Drive       1,412         1,170      20.7

Hughes Brook      231           197         17.3

Pasadena           3,352         3,180       5.4

Stephenville        6,719         6,588       2.0


Corner Brook       19,886      20,083     -1.0

Steady Brook       408           435         -6.2

Humber Arm South 1,681       1,854     -9.3

Organizations: Statistics Canada

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Alberta British Columbia Saskatchewan Manitoba Nova Scotia New Brunswick Prince Edward Island Quebec Ontario Northwest Territories Yukon Nunavut United States United Kingdom Italy France Russia Japan Germany Mount Pearl Steady Brook Pasadena

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Recent comments

  • Toni Young
    April 16, 2012 - 23:37

    I never received the census paperwork in the mail or at the door. I called the 1800# to give my address and was put on hold to be asked for my postal code. My family of 5 were not apart of the 2011 census. Currently Deer Lake,NL has 5995 people. My family and I would have brought our town to 6000 if someone performed their job correctly. Goodness knows how. many families were excluded from the census. And now when names are ready to be released we won't be in it for our granchildren's grandchildren.

  • nat
    February 09, 2012 - 20:32

    It's simple Government can do what they want. They don't have to be business men, they just need to invest in the town. Give the students reasons to want to go to Corner Brook. Give businesses tax breaks, for the first year, instead of soaking them to death right off the bath, and yes if they wanted to open New movie theatres they could. It just comes down to them fighting for the community, and offering franchises a deal to come into Corner Brook. Other communities do it, why not Corner Brook. Some people are just closed mind, and blind to what the city could actually do, IF THEY WANTED TOO. They don't have to be business people, they just need to go after business people and try to bring them in.

    • David
      February 10, 2012 - 12:06

      I'll try this again....please concentrate even if your brain hurts. Retail businesses open where they can MAKE lots of money, not where they can SAVE a few shekels on taxes. If even a ZERO tax rate would make the difference betwen a retail business opening somewhere or not, a rational person could predict how viable that business is, and what they would do the minute such a subsidy ends. It is because we have only lived in a place where every single thing is interfered with by government...poked, and prodded, and manipulated, and screwed up...while the basic chores of government is left in total shambles. That you don't understand how the supply / demand world works, how there is no "magic governemnt policy" to every desire, is because you live in a political Bizarro World. What Corner Brook has to choose from is exactly what Corner Brook, in all its boomtown glory, gets. Suck it up, buttercup.

    • Mark
      February 10, 2012 - 15:18

      Agree mostly with what David said. People choose to live and work and open businesses based on their own decisions, not at the behest of government policies or tax rates. Until we stop equating government expenditure (i.e. shiny new buildings) with "growth" our community and its economy will continue in a familiar direction.

  • BB
    February 09, 2012 - 20:12

    the population dropped by -1% over 5 years. This to me seems like it is more stable then anything. In 2001 it dropped by -8.2% and 2006 it was -0.1 %. You have to look at this data over a few census not always just one. Anyone notice that the total private dwellings went up along with private dwellings occupied by usual residents? The age characteristics are interesting to look at as well.

    • David
      February 10, 2012 - 12:55

      Even a professional politician or spin doctor can only do so much, so nice try. But if you encourage people to look at even more data, you better be very sure it doesn't actually hurt your position even more......Spin 101.

    • BB
      February 13, 2012 - 08:32

      Just said look at the big picture from the past census and compare. Don't just jump on one stat alone. I admit I should have said it appears more like a slow decline. It is bad but could be worse. It should be a warning as all the little declines will add up. The increase in private dwellings shows that there has been some development, though I am not totally sure why or where the money is coming from. As the boomers get older in the area it will be interesting to see what happens along with any more mill news.

  • Jim
    February 09, 2012 - 18:58

    Guess it's time to increase the salary of council members or a new, bigger, city hall. Funny, tax base gets smaller costs get higher. Then again the council in St. John's is getting two raises this year, wow.

  • Simple Math
    February 09, 2012 - 15:30

    What these numbers say is that people from Corner Brook moved to Massey Drive in a new sub division. People moved 1-5 km's and now an uproar about decreasing population. WOW

  • David
    February 09, 2012 - 13:04

    Here's the other shoe that you visionaries don't seem to get....not only is CB's population in irreversible decline folks, but the average age in this city is now well into geriatric-ville. It seems to be another "minor detail" to which those clambering for more stores, nightlife and theatres are oblivious. Seriously everyone....please shake your heads until they rattle, take a deep breath and open your darn eyes. If you're a pharmacist, lawyer, or physiotherapist...congratulations, you can stay. Or if you're in Kathy's good graces, you can wiat for a provincial government assignment...those odds are much better than the lottery, anyway.

    • Anita Brake
      February 09, 2012 - 19:34

      One word: "Amalgamate"

    • JW
      February 10, 2012 - 07:33

      Yeah, that's what I was thinking when I saw the numbers. I know my in-laws moved to the new Pasadena retirement cottages just over a year ago.

  • Darren Brake
    February 09, 2012 - 11:44

    how can population increase if there is no land or places to rent. City staff turns down or way anybody interested in developing. Darren Brake KSAB

    • darren brake
      February 09, 2012 - 12:35

      be nice to see the house start over the past five years for all the different community's... that might put the color on the wall. DB.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    February 09, 2012 - 08:48

    It is a case of very simple math of why the population of Corner Brook has dropped. Building lots - the few that are available - are 80 to 90 thousand dollars when you can build a house in Pasadena in a new subdivision for half of that cost. The other side is where is the plan to open up any new subdivisions in Corner Brook? It appears that once the Sunnyslope Drive area was developed in the mid 80s and 90s there was no plan in place to open up new areas. This lack of choice and affordable building lots has fueled the high prices we see now because of simple supply and demand.

    • darren brake
      February 09, 2012 - 12:38

      FORHORN LEGHORN.... Your correct, add on top of the raw land cost the City of Corner Brook PROFIT on there developments! Over a million $$.... and we wonder why land is so costly in Corner Brook. Somebody need to change things

  • David
    February 09, 2012 - 00:30

    I swear to gawd almighty you people need brain transpalnts...what government department do you think is "in charge" of putting movie theatres, sports bars, and Starbucks in places like Corner Brook, NAT? Is it federal or provincial? ACOA maybe? What in the name of the patron saint of imbeciles are you all smoking to get your skulls so vacant? Seriously.

    • steve-o
      February 09, 2012 - 13:41

      I am wondering the same thing. Who ever said that city council were a bunch of business-men who were in charge of boosting the local economy? City hall arent the ones to decide the corner brook needs a sports bar, or needs a movie theatre, citizens do! Take a leap and invest in these sorts of things if we really them - there is a potential for money making. But guess what? No one will, cause the costs involved to start something like this is far greater than the return - hence why no one around is silly enough to put their money into a business venture like that here in Corner Brook.

  • NAT
    February 08, 2012 - 22:25

    People are moving to Alberta, or the ever growing Clarenville and St. John's. Clarenville is building up everyday. Building and jobs coming up all around. Corner Brook take note. Corner Brook is the least appealing place right now in Newfoundland to live. Not enough money being spent in structure as well. St. John's is putting in a great new theatre, Corner Brook don't even have a sensible movie theatre. With all the students keeping the city going, at least they should spend in a movie theatre. There needs to be more fast food and sports bars. Try to atleast attract the young generation. If not they are going to apply to St'John's and more appealing places for school. Right now the Schools are all that Corner brook really has that is secure. Something disperately needs to change, the housing market is about to take a plunge, with that comes foreclosure. Is that what the city really want's to see happen to their citizens. Very sad, but true fact for anyone who has their eyes open enough to see where Corner Brook's future is heading. It's heading there fast, anyone who is smart right now, will never buy real estate in Corner Brook. In 3-6 months time the same house may be a hundred thousand dollars cheaper.

  • Charles
    February 08, 2012 - 15:38

    In order for thing to grow...We got to change thing....Just read the ARTICLE ( Local Economist Forecasts Mill Closure ).Read the comment...Then you know where our trouble start.

  • Jack
    February 08, 2012 - 12:22

    In light of Corner Brook's population decline to below 20,000 people, a feat that no city should be proud of, I hope this census data serves as a wake up call for Corner Brook City Hall to do something about it. For starters, Corner Brook City Hall has to start finding ways to diversify their economy away from pulp and paper and other volatile natural resources to high quality and good paying jobs so that the economy will grow, population levels will increase, and people will start their families here. Secondly, Corner Brook City Hall and its residents have to do their part including creating a better business climate, get rid of NIMBY and xenophobic attitudes, lower taxes, revitalize Broadway, start attracting new stores and I don't mean junk ones like Rossy, just to name a few. If Corner Brookers and their City Hall don't do anything to curb the population decline that is going on for the last 40 years, then we could soon lose our right to call Corner Brook a "city". Since Nova Scotia already stripped one community of its town status like Canso, I would not be surprised if Corner Brook is stripped of its "City" status if the 40 year population curse continues.

    • David
      February 08, 2012 - 17:59

      .....and I don't mean junk ones like Rossy..... And there you have it....this "thought" (for lack of a printable word) juxtaposed with this article on the slow, inevitable decline of Corner Brook as a community. Jack, could you and your ilk possibly be more out to lunch, more oblivious to your communal circumstance? I believe not.

  • Too Funny
    February 08, 2012 - 12:15

    To say "fell behind" implies that CB's growth was going in the same direction but at a slower pace. But in fact it was going in the opposite direction. It didn't "fall behind", it went in down. It does seem that CB is losing people to neighboring communities and that is something for council to answer.

    • John
      February 09, 2012 - 01:43

      Neville, Time for another increase.