Census reveals massive population loss on Haida Gwaii

  • Feb. 10, 2012 10:00 a.m.

Haida Gwaii lost over 9 percent of its population between 2006 and 2011 according to the latest census figures, released this week by Statistics Canada. The numbers are down for every community on the islands. The biggest drop was recorded on Moresby Island, where there were 317 people living in 2011, down 21 percent from 402 people in 2006. The next biggest decline was in Port Clements. Port had 378 residents in 2011, down 14 percent over five years, from 440 residents in 2006. Area D, which includes Tow Hill Road, Tlell, and Lawn Hill, had 524 residents in 2011, down almost 14 percent from the previously recorded 607. In Old Massett, the population declined by 11.5 percent to 614 people, from 694 five years ago. In Skidegate, the numbers were down 9 percent, to 709 from 781. In Masset, population dropped 6 percent to 884 from 940. Queen Charlotte had the smallest decline, losing less than 1 percent of its population, but it did record a loss, going from 948 citizens in 2006 to 944 in 2011. The total population for Haida Gwaii adds up to 4,370, almost exactly the same number as was recorded in 1971. That’s down 9 percent from 2006’s total population of 4,812. Interestingly, although the total number of islanders is almost the same as in 1971, where they now live is very different. Forty years ago, there were more than 1,000 people living on Moresby Island, and less than 100 people living in Tlell and other parts of rural Graham Island.