Historic downtown population jumps 20%

More residents downtown and in southwestern Abbotsford, according to mapped census data

The population of Abbotsford's historic downtown rose by about 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016

The population of Abbotsford's historic downtown rose by about 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people living in and around Abbotsford’s historic downtown over the last five years.

The number of residents in the area – roughly defined as north of McDougall, east of McCallum, south of Walnut and west of Park – jumped 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016. The figures come from the 2016 census and mapping site CensusMapper.ca.

The area’s total population is still relatively low – 1,616 residents in 2016 – but the increase means around 273 additional people living in close proximity to businesses.

The numbers will be pleasing to city planners, who when speaking about efforts to increase the vibrancy of the historic downtown, have highlighted the need to increase the number of residents living in the area.

Other areas showing high growth include the West Townline area, South Poplar area, and the lower south face of Sumas Mountain, all of which saw double-digit population increases.

By comparison, the city’s central residential core between Clearbrook and McCallum roads saw population increases around four per cent over the five years.

The broad western segment of the city west of Mt. Lehman Road and south of the highway was responsible for the largest chunk of new residents, with more than 1,000 people moving to the area, according to CensusMapper data. The area includes both some new subdivisions and thousands of acres of farmland.

As a whole, the city’s population grew by 5.9 per cent between 2011 and 2016, to 141,397. For more, go to censusmapper.ca.