Helmut Pastrick (far right) leads a department responsible for providing economic analysis and forecasts to credit unions and Central 1. (Photo - Daniel Taylor)

Helmut Pastrick (far right) leads a department responsible for providing economic analysis and forecasts to credit unions and Central 1. (Photo - Daniel Taylor)

Population growth driving Kelowna’s economy

The city’s population expected to grow to 250,000 people within the next 20 to 30 years

Kelowna’s economic outlook appears to be headed in the right direction thanks to steady population growth over the next few decades.

That’s according to chief economist for Central 1 Credit Union, Helmut Pastrick, who was in Kelowna on Wednesday for a luncheon to update the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce about the region’s economic landscape.

Pastrick predicted the city’s population will grow to 250,000 people within the next 20 to 30 years as Kelowna remains a hot spot for quality of living thanks to the growth of the BC economy.

READ MORE: Second transmission line cancelled for West Kelowna

“It’s all immigration coming from other countries, from other provinces and other regions,” said Pastrick.

“Kelowna is an attractive area with the climate, housing costs relative to other regions and some job growth.”

Even with the forestry sector in a downturn with Tolko ceasing operations next year, Pastrick believes it won’t have too big of an impact on Kelowna’s economy in the long term.

“(Kelowna’s) forestry component has been shrinking for a long time. You have to go back into the 50s and 60s where forestry played a much more material role in the economy. Kelowna was one of those areas where it really transitioned away from forestry sooner than say Kamloops or Prince George.”

Backing up his claims, he said since 2014 the number of business incorporations in Kelowna has risen from 1,300 to roughly 1,900.

“I think it has to do with the fact that many of these businesses reflect the ongoing need to service an expanding population base,” said Pastrick. “Another factor is technological change. Businesses are formed to implement new technological measures.”

READ MORE: Kelowna named best city for real estate investment in Western Canada

While Kelowna was recently named the best city for real estate investment in Western Canada, Pastrick said it will be important to address housing affordability in order to remain competitive.

“Addressing the housing affordability issue is a big one and you want to be able to attract and keep residents. You want to be able to provide enough infrastructure to make it a desirable place as well. That’s transportation, health and education and the like. All that comes into play in making an area desirable.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A COVID-19 exposure has been confirmed at Black Mountain Elementary in Kelowna Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Google Image)
Another COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed an exposure at Black Mountain Elementary School Saturday

Members of BCEHS Station 343 in Lake Country receive a donation of treats and wine from the community in December. (Contributed)
‘Unexpected and heartwarming’: Okanagan community supports paramedics

Cards, discounts, treats, more given to Lake Country paramedics in sign of support

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis has served as the band’s chief since his first of six electoral wins in 1991. (File photo)
Okanagan Indian Band seeks nominations for upcoming election

A new OKIB chief and council will be elected March 30, 2021

An individual at Rutland Senior Secondary school has tested positive for COVID-19. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Individual at Kelowna school tests positive for COVID-19

Authorities say they are self-isolating at home with support from local health teams

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

The North Okanagan Naturalists' Club completed its annual swan and eagle counts Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (Claude Rioux - NONC photo)
North Okanagan bird count shows decrease in swan and eagle numbers

Trumpeter swans were down 61 per cent from last year’s count; eagles down 14 per cent

Lake Country firefighters helped deliver a healthy newborn baby Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020. (Pixabay)
Lake Country firefighters help deliver baby boy

Firefighters from the Winfield hall assisted with the birth of a healthy newborn Thursday morning

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Skaha Middle School
Arrest made in indecent acts near South Okanagan schools

A 32-year-old man was arrested and released on strict conditions, say police

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Most Read