Surrey population surpasses 500,000; doubles Vancouver in growth

Surrey City Centre on February 7, 2017

Census data released today by Statistics Canada has revealed that Surrey’s population has surpassed 500,000. As of May 2016 last year, the population of Surrey was 517,887, an increase from 468,251 in 2011 representing a growth rate of 10.6%, outpacing the national average, British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, and the Vancouver CMA.

In comparison, between 2011 and 2016:

  • Canada as a whole grew by 5.0%
  • British Columbia grew by 5.6%
  • City of Vancouver grew by 4.6%
  • Vancouver Census Metropolitan Area (CMA): 6.5%

The only Vancouver CMA municipality to grow faster than Surrey was the Township of Langley which grew at a rapid 12.6%. As a whole, the Vancouver CMA grew to 2,463,431.

With Surrey adding an average of 1,000 new residents per month, as of February 2017, the population of Surrey can be estimated to have already increased further to 525,000It is expected that Surrey will surpass Vancouver in population to become the largest city in BC by 2030.

Looking at growth by Census Tract, the areas of Surrey growing the fastest were in the south and east, in places such as Grandview Heights, Sunnyside Heights, South Newton, and Clayton. There was also noticeably strong growth in Surrey City Centre as a result of new condo developments in recent years, with one Census Tract east of King George Blvd and south of 104th Avenue growing by 33%. This growth in City Centre will likely increase even more by the 2021 Census, with more new condo developments expected to be completed within City Centre in the next 5 years than in the previous 5 years.

Developable land and affordability in comparison to Vancouver can both be seen as driving factors in Surrey’s strong growth.

Growth rate by Census Tract in Metro Vancouver

Growth rate by Census Tract in North Surrey – Area east of King George Blvd and south of 104th Ave grew by 33%.

Looking at growth in absolute numbers. Surrey outpaced every municipality within Metro Vancouver by a large margin, adding a total of 49,636 residents between 2011 and 2016. Vancouver came in second adding 27,984 new residents.

Population Growth of Metro Vancouver cities 2011-2016

  2016 2011 Total Growth
Metropolitan Vancouver 2,463,431 2,313,328 150,103
Surrey 517,887 468,251 49,636
City of Vancouver 631,486 603,502 27,984
Langley 117,285 104,177 13,108
Coquitlam 139,284 126,804 12,480
Burnaby 232,755 223,218 9,537
Richmond 198,309 190,473 7,836
Maple Ridge 82,256 76,052 6,204
New Westminster 70,996 65,976 5,020
North Vancouver 52,898 48,196 4,702
Port Coquitlam 58,612 55,958 2,654
Delta 102,238 99,863 2,375
North Vancouver 85,935 84,412 1,523
Pitt Meadows 18,573 17,736 837
Langley 25,888 25,081 807
White Rock 19,952 19,339 613
Port Moody 33,551 33,011 540
West Vancouver 42,473 42,694 -221