the rennie brief - 2050 Population Projections


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT METRO VANCOUVER’S 2050 POPULATION PROJECTIONS • Growth of 39% in the regional population to 2050 means 1.1 million more residents • Over 500,000 new housing units will be needed to accommodate the region’s growing and changing population • Upwards of 460,000 new jobs will compete for space as the region’s economy expands and evolves • The largest absolute and relative growth is expected to come to the South of Fraser- East region including City of Surrey and the Langleys

the rennie brief

APRIL 2021

Preliminary projections expect 1.1 million people to be added to Metro Vancouver by 2050.

POPULATION GROWTH Over the past two years, rennie consulting has been working with Metro Vancouver as part of a long-range forecasting project to both model the short-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the longer-term impacts of federal policy changes related to future immigration targets. As part of the development of its new regional plan, Metro 2050 , Metro Vancouver has just released preliminary population projections that show the region adding more than one million people by 2050. With the region’s population expected to grow by approximately 35,000 people each year over the next three decades—comparable to the 37,000 added each year on average over the past three decades—other aspects of the region will also need to scale and evolve along with it, namely housing, jobs, and transportation. HOUSING NEEDS Based on the projected magnitude of population growth, the region will require an additional 500,000 new homes of all types to be built. This equates to just over 17,000 net new homes being constructed each year. With federal immigration targets set to increase significantly in the short-term, housing additions in the near-term would be in excess of 21,000 net new units per year Shifting demographics as a result of natural increase, aging, and migration, combined with the expected housing requirements associated with various stages of the life cycle, would result in apartments (both purpose-built rental and condo) making up approximately half of these new dwellings. Attached ground- oriented homes (such as townhomes and “plexes”) would be needed to meet the next-largest segment of demand (at 43% of the new stock), while single-family homes would comprise only 6% of required new housing.

JOB ADDITIONS The new modeling for the regional plan suggests that an additional 500,000 jobs will be created to support and meet the needs of a growing and changing regional economy, raising employment from 1.4 million jobs today to just under two million by 2050. Employment in tech, finance, and retail will account for the largest proportion of expected job growth (at just over half of all net additional jobs). Public sector and institutional employment would mostly scale in-step with the growing population, accounting for roughly one-quarter of new jobs. TRANSIT CONSIDERATIONS Transit is going to play a crucial role in how and where the region accommodates new residents. With this in mind, Metro Vancouver supports mixed-use, transit-oriented developments within a 200-metre radius of current and future SkyTrain stations. Such a change in land-use policy would yield an expansion of developable lands for residential use, while both maintaining industrial land that is severely constrained and enabling commercial uses to expand as needed. THE SUB-AREA OUTLOOK Recognizing that the region consists of a diverse group of jurisdictions, each with a varying degree of available land and access to transit, the preliminary population, housing, and employment projections have been broken out into six sub- areas: the Burrard Peninsula, the North Shore, South of Fraser- East, South of Fraser-West, North East, and Tri-Cities. Generally-speaking, the South of Fraser-East area is expected to see the greatest relative and absolute growth within the region to 2050, growing by 51% as it adds more than 400,000 more residents. The Tri-Cities area is expected to grow at a similar pace (51%) as it adds 133,000 more residents. With a more constrained land base, the Burrard Peninsula is expected to grow more slowly (at 30%), but is still expected to add more than 320,000 new residents.

For further information please contact Ryan Berlin ( or Andrew Ramlo ( The information set out herein (the “Information”) is intended for informational purposes only. rennie has not verified the information and does not represent, warrant or guarantee the accuracy, correctness and completeness of the information. rennie does not assume any responsibility or liability of any kind in connection with the information and the recipient’s reliance upon the information. The recipient of the information should take steps as the recipient may deem necessary to verify the information prior to placing any reliance upon the information. The information may change any time without notice or obligation to the recipient from rennie.

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