Kelowna, which comes from the Okanagan term for "grizzly bear," is located on Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, Canada. Kelowna is the 22nd largest city in Canada and the 3rd largest metro area in British Columbia with a population estimated at 120,000 in 2015.
City Size and Population Density
The city proper has a population density of just 554 people per square kilometer (1,434/square mile). The larger metropolitan area has a population of 180,000. The total surface area that the city of Kelowna claims comes to 211.82 square kilometers (81.78 square miles).
Just over 6% of the population belongs to a visible minority, the largest of which are: South Asian (1.8%), Chinese (1.2%), Japanese (0.8%), Southeast Asian (0.6%), Black (0.5%), Filipino (0.4%), and Latin American (0.4%). About 3.4% of the population in Kelowna belong to an Aboriginal group, all of which are First Nations. The White population is more than 90%. About 15% of the population is foreign-born.
Kelowna has a relatively older population structure with an average age of 41.1 years, compared to the Canadian average of 37.6. Just 4.8% of the population is under the age of 5, compared with 5.6% for all of Canada.
Kelowna previously had a Chinatown. Most of the Chinatown residents were male. Ethnic Chinese accounted for 15% of Kelowna's population in 1910. By 2010, this proportion had fallen to less than 1%.
Kelowna has one of the highest crime rates of any metro areas in Canada, most of which is property crime. Still, it's rated as one of the most livable cities in Canada.
In terms of religion, the population is largely Protestant (40.3%), followed by Catholic (19.2%) and no religious affiliation (31.1%).
The first European to settle in the Kelowna area was Father Charles Pandosy, a French Roman Catholic missionary. The city was incorporated in 1905 when the city had 600 people and the economy centered on farming, cattle ranching, hay and grain cultivation, and orchard growing. The city's population increased dramatically after World War II partly due to a veteran resettlement program.
Kelowna Population Growth
Much of the city's growth has been driven by Canadians moving from British Columbia and other provinces into the region. Kelowna is currently the fastest-growing city in British Columbia according to Statistics Canada. It's also the fifth fastest-growing metropolitan area in Canada after Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Regina with a growth rate of 1.8%. The Canadian national average is just 1.4%.