6 Population Projections for the Parksville Census Agglomeration
by William Warren Munroe, posted September 24, 2013

How many years have the number of deaths exceeded births in the Parksville Census Agglomeration (locally referred to as Oceanside)? Five years? Ten years? Fifteen years? (Answer - more than 15 years).

Are the number of deaths going down, or are they continuing to rise? (Answer - continuing to rise). What about births - are they rising as quickly as deaths? (Answer - no, fertility is below replacement).

Will net migration rise rapidly enough to keep the total population from declining? (Answer - net migration (in minus out migration) would have to rise more rapidly than was the case during the last upturn in economic activity, 2001 - 2006).

What will the future look like for our children?

Here are 6 projections to consider.

Figure 1. Population Projections for the Parksville Census Agglomeration, 2016 to 2041

Using the population change seen from 1996 to 2001 for one projection, and using the population change seen from 2006 to 2011 for another projection create the two lowest population projections seen in the chart above.

The average change between 1996 to 2011 created the green line between the high and lows.

Repeating the economic / migration cycles between 1996 to 2011 into the future provides the light blue line that follows the average projection line very closely.

If the number of those 20 to 29 years of age stays at around the numbers seen between 1996 to 2011, assuming that the area provides enough social and economic activity to keep the smaller number of those 15 to 19 years of age (due to below replacement fertility) from moving out, then the purple line is created.

The projection that gives the highest total population only occurs using the continuous boom time (no bust) scenario - assuming that the growth seen between 2001 and 2006 will resume and continue after 2011.

The likelihood of this occurring is zero (0%) as we already know this census period (2011 to 2016) is not a boom time. In fact, in 2011, BC's interprovincial (net) migration turned negative once again as it had in the late 1990s.

See the projection created by BC's official statistical agency compared to the projection created by using the cohort change ratios method in the article "A Comparison of Population Projections for BC"

Most of the projections show that the population for the Parksville Census Agglomeration, will likely peak in 2026.

What will Oceanside be like for our children? First, let's look at how old they will be if the declines being in 2026, given their current ages.

  • If you are 17 now, you will be 30 years old.

  • If you are 7 now, you will be 20 years old.

  • Those born this year will be 13 years old when the population begins to decline.

As the number of deaths continue rise, the supply of dwellings will increase, reducing the cost of dwellings. Continued building of more dwellings will, of course, also increase supply and also keep dwelling costs relatively low.

Housing costs (particularly single family dwellings and land) will likely decline as should office and commercial retail space costs (all things remaining equal, i.e., controlling for inflation), and roads should be quieter too (unless the school bus program is cut).

Relatively low dwelling costs will likely attract people, including families to Qualicum. A forecast assuming lower dwelling costs and increased families moving in can be created to see what the future may look like. Nonetheless, migration for all age groups, is dependent on the economic cycles.

Some parts of Oceanside will likely experience declines sooner as median age varies across the area.

Communities with a higher median age, like Qualicum Beach (half the pop is over ~64 years of age - and rising), will likely experience population decline sooner.

Related articles

Read about the rising death to birth ratio (5 to 1) and see the "Population projections for Qualicum Beach to 2041"

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