Census numbers show stagnant population growth in Kingston

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

KINGSTON – This is Kingston in 1906, when the population was about 19 thousand.
Fast forward to 2017…a lot has changed. But change in the form of growth isn’t happening very fast, according to the latest census data.
The 2016 census showed that Kingston’s population is practically stagnant — in comparison to the rest of the country.
Heather Senoran:
“According to Stats Canada, between 2011 and 2016 Kingston’s population grew a mere 0.4 percent– While the national average jumped 5 percent and Ontario, 4.6”
In 2011 the population was 123 thousand 363 and by 2016 it had only increased by 435.
A Queen’s expert isn’t surprised by the numbers.
He says the results of the census showcases a continuing trend.
Mark Rosenberg/Geography Professor, Queen’s University:
“Really at least since 2001. In terms of the largest cities attracting the majority of immigrants and the larger cities, particularly in the west growing the fastest… and cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal growing faster than Kingston.”
Kingston’s Mayor says the local census stats prove that there’s an urgency to promote growth…and attracting more immigrants is an integral part of the solution.
Bryan Paterson/Kingston’s Mayor:
“Open up more employment here in the city, obviously that’s important no matter who you are. And be able to strengthen some of the ethnic communities we have in Kingston and being able to project that welcoming atmosphere here.”
Students and young professionals say while Kingston is known as a ‘university town’ there isn’t enough incentive to stay here after graduation.
“As young students there’s a lot of opportunities for us so we like to move around to find out what are career paths are before settling down.”
“Maybe there isn’t a lot of manufacturing, industrial, technology, financial jobs within the city… therefore many want to move out to get the big jobs with big incomes.”
Meanwhile not everyone is alarmed by the low growth figures for Kingston, some are quite happy with the way it is.
“I think I’m glad. I don’t want this to become Toronto!”
More details from the 2016 census…such as age demographics, multi-cultural make-up and number of families and children will be released in the coming weeks.

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