Sioux Lookout’s population growing according to latest census data
Tim Brody - Editor
The population of Sioux Lookout has grown significantly according to Statistics Canada.
Recently released census data shows the Municipality of Sioux Lookout’s population in 2021 was recorded at 5,839 people, a population increase of 10.8 percent from the 5,272 people recorded living here in 2016.
Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance shared, “Although the census indicates a sudden recent five-year increase in population, we believe that the population count was underreported in the period 2001 to 2015. The population growth has been spread over two decades, not five years. Our infrastructure has also gradually accommodated. As new properties are built and older properties improved, we benefit from additional growth to the property tax base to fund required infrastructure growth and upgrades. Although there is a need for more housing across all sectors, the growing population and housing demand has protected and increased property values in Sioux Lookout.”
Lawrance feels the increase in population shown by the census data is attributable to two factors, “The first is more people actually completing the census due to positive encouragement to do so and the fact that it is once again legally mandatory for people to complete the census. The second factor is real growth in our population. Sioux Lookout has a relatively young population with a median age of 35 compared to Canada and Ontario (41) and regional communities Dryden (46), Thunder Bay (44) and Kenora (44). We are a hub for employment attracting newcomers (many of whom are young) for work across many sectors. Young families tend to grow.”
Lawrance said more accurate census data is a benefit to the community, “It does allow more funding to Sioux Lookout related to per capita government funding programs. Private companies considering setting up in Sioux Lookout will also use census data to determine market size, working age population, and other factors such as median income.”
He concluded, “Having an accurate population count and knowing the trend in population is important for use in community planning and attracting development. Having an accurate census count is also important for tracking public health issues, such as the pandemic and other population health statistics. Reports such as vaccination rates and disease prevalence are typically based on occurrences per thousand population and will be underreported when the vaccine count or disease occurrence count is reported accurately but the population count is underreported. In summary we can say that accurate data, facts, are a very important part of decision-making for any municipality, including Sioux Lookout.”