Nunavut’s population nears 30,000

Stats geeks fine-tune Nunavut’s numbers


Nunavut’s population is close to 30,000, according to a new estimate released this week by Statistics Canada and the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics.

That’s good news for territorial and municipal governments, which get their funds from senior governments based on head counts.

The estimate, based on a revision of numbers gathered in the 2001 national census, shows that in 2003, Nunavut’s population stood at 29,384.

Further work done by the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics shows that the population of Nunavut’s largest community, Iqaluit, is estimated at 5,959 for 2003. The next largest communities, Rankin Inlet and Arviat, stood at 2,312 and 2,056 for that year.

These numbers come from a routine revision of Statistics Canada’s last census numbers, said Nunavut’s chief statistician, Jack Hicks.

After doing its annual head count in 2001, Statistics Canada took a second look at its numbers, doing what they call “coverage studies” to figure out how many people may have been missed by census takers.

After producing an “undercoverage” rate – which turned out to be 4.9 per cent for Nunavut – the federal agency then released its new information to provincial and territorial governments across Canada.

That’s what produced a $49.2 million rise in the Nunavut government’s revenues for last year, when the extra 1,000 or so people added to Nunavut’s population was plugged into the Canada-Nunavut formula financing agreement.

To figure out Nunavut’s new community population estimates, the Nunavut Bureau of Statistics then took Statistics Canada’s revisions and re-calculated the numbers for each Nunavut community.

“We do a more detailed version of what StatsCan does, taking their numbers as a starting point. We had to figure out, from 2001, where those extra 1,000 people should be allocated, ” Hicks said.

The biggest effect of Nunavut’s new community population numbers is that they will affect how much money communities get from higher levels of government. Most funding programs aimed at hamlet governments and other community agencies use per capita formulas to figure out how much money each community should get.

The next full count of Nunavut’s population will take place in 2006, when Canada’s next national census is to be conducted.
Iqaluit 5,959
Rankin Inlet 2,312
Arviat 2,056
Baker Lake 1,636
Cambridge Bay 1,502
Igloolik 1,457
Pangnirtung 1,364
Cape Dorset 1,299
Kugluktuk 1,296
Pond Inlet 1,290
Gjoa Haven 1,059

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