By Timothy Schafer, The Nelson Daily
Nelson saw the greatest influx of new residents into the city in 10 years, according to the results of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce’s Nelson and Area New Resident Survey.
And the figures show they are young.
In 2010, 263 new families representing 585 new people relocated to Nelson and area in the year ending May 31, 2010 – up about five per cent from last year. That number was the highest recorded since 2000 when more than 700 residents came to the area.
The chamber’s general manager Tom Thomson said the survey found that — similar to that last two years when age first started being asked — Nelson continues to attract a large number of younger new residents (0-4, 20-24, 25-44 age groups).
Those between 20-44 made up 58 per cent of new residents.
“This age group represents only about a third of Nelson’s population in the 2006 Census,” said Thomson. “And nearly three in four new families were drawn here for lifestyle.”
Nelson attracted few new residents in older age ranges.
Thomson said the majority of the new residents were people relocating from elsewhere in BC, or around 154 families (58 per cent of the total).
Alberta was the origin of the second most group of migrants, with 55 new families (21 per cent of the total) — a near record number for Alberta families.
“In the 15 years on record, only 2008, with 61 new families from Alberta, had a higher number,” said Thomson. “Historically, about 35 Alberta families move to Nelson and area in any given year.”
Further down the list of where the people are coming from, 16 families (six per cent) moved from Ontario, 11 (four per cent) from the U.S., and seven families (three per cent) from both Saskatchewan and Quebec.
Thirty-four per cent moved for a job opportunity or a transfer while a third cited weather and scenery as a motivator for moving. One in four moved to the area because of school (Selkirk, KSA, Waldorf, Chinese Medicine School).
Only 10 per cent listed retirement or semi-retirement as a reason for moving here while another eight per cent moved here to start or buy a business.