By Charles Hamilton, The StarPhoenix, February 26, 2014 - Saskatoon was one of the fastest growing cities in the country in 2013 thanks in large part to an influx of new international immigrants according to new data released by Statistics Canada.
With a grow rate of 3.9 per cent in 2013, the Saskatoon region fell just behind the Calgary region that had a rate of 4.3 per cent.
Saskatoon’s census metropolitan area — which includes the cities of Saskatoon, Martensville and Warman and large swaths of surrounding communities — grew by more than 11,000 people in 2013. The area now has a total population of 292,597, a boom lead largely by international immigration. Nearly half of newcomers to region were international immigrants. The region recorded the highest growth rate among international immigrants at a rate of 2.1 per cent.
In December last year, the Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce estimated the population of the greater Saskatoon area would have hit 300.000, but the new data says those estimates just fell short.
As for the city itself, internal estimates pegged the population at 246,300 people.
City of Saskatoon staff have been estimating a growth rate of at least 2.5 per cent per year as they chart a path for the city’s future growth. At that rate, the city would hit a population of 1 million by 2072.
Regina’s CMA had a growth rate of 3.1 per cent or an increase of 7,100 during the same period, bringing that area’s total population to 232,100.