Feb 10, 2022

Beyond the Numbers: What the 2021 Census means for Ladysmith

The Town of Ladysmith grew by an estimated 5.3% over the last five years according to the 2021 Census, however, there is a story beyond the numbers (we promise there’s no math involved so please keep reading).

Here are a few of the highlights we can pull from the latest Census:

  • * Ladysmith’s population is now 8,990, up 453 residents since 2016. The 5.3% growth rate over five years is down slightly from the 2016 census (7.8%), but higher than the 2011 census (5.1%).

  • * Ladysmith now has 4,079 private dwellings, 3,926 of which would typically be primary residences. A primary residence is the home you live in and doesn’t include investment and/or recreational properties. Between 2016-2021 private dwellings were added at a rate of approximately 65 units/year compared to 38 units/year for the 2006-2011 period.

  • * Let’s dig a bit deeper into the 3,926 primary residences reported in the latest Census. At the current 65 units/year, Ladysmith will have 4,251 units by 2025. However, to meet the ‘housing need’ for 2025 projected in the Town’s Housing Needs Assessment endorsed by Council last year, we need to add 85 units/year.

  • * The Census combined with the Housing Needs Assessment are currently being used to inform growth scenarios for the new Official Community Plan

  • * The 2021 Census population and dwelling counts also provide an opportunity to compare projections in Ladysmith’s current OCP, adopted in 2003.The table below shows how these past predictions compare to the current Census results.



OCP Estimate for 2020 (Range)

2021 Census




Housing (number of homes)

4,856-9,247 homes

4,079 (3,926 of which are primary residences)

The Local Government Act requirement for all local governments in BC to prepare and consider a housing needs assessment every five years means this data will be updated more regularly and help inform Council’s decision-making.

We can expect more 2021 Census data to be released over the course of 2022, including data on housing affordability (including the number of households paying more that 30% of their gross income on housing).

For the latest news and updates visit the Town’s website at www.ladysmith.ca, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also receive up-to-date information in your email inbox by subscribing to the Town’s newsletter.


For Information:
Mike Gregory
Communications and Engagement Specialist
mgregory@ladysmith.ca | 250.210.1740