The Kootenay lifestyle continues to be one of the biggest draws to the Nelson area, but the New Residents Survey, sponsored by Community Futures Central Kootenay also noticed a drop in the number of 25 to 44 year olds for the first time in several years.
“That has always been the largest numbers but it did lower a bit this year,” said project co-ordinator Lisa Cannady. “From 2008 to 2011, the largest number of people were always the 25 to 44 age range, but this year was he lowest from those previous years.”
The survey found that the numbers were higher for the 0 to 19 age range and the 65 to 85+ range. Cannady said this was “great” because the numbers indicate more people are retiring in Nelson, and more people are moving here to raise their families.
Out of those surveyed, the majority said that “lifestyle change” was the main reason to move to the area.
“To me lifestyle change means the ability to go to work during the day and then come home from work and go for a bike ride or I think the best example in this area is to take the day off when there’s a lot of snow or taking the morning off and coming in late which I don’t think is something you see in a lot of other areas,” said Cannady.
New residents also offered up some suggestions the city could make to improve, which included coffee shops that open at 5 a.m., affordable housing, and Cannady said changes to the dog bylaw are always requested.
“There was a lot of issues it seemed around the recycling program,” she added.
People also made recommendations of retail and business services that are lacking in the city, which included Second Cup, McDonald’s, a movie theatre and a Tim Hortons.
One of the most exciting parts of the survey for Cannady is the increase in international immigrants coming to the area.
The numbers indicated that households move to Nelson from Mongolia, Tanzania and even Hungary.
“This year out of all the people surveyed nine per cent of them came internationally, whereas last year was only three per cent. I think it’s really exciting that there are people coming from all over the world to come right to the Nelson area to live,” said Cannady.
The survey also indicated that the majority of people moving to Nelson continue to be from elsewhere in BC, the second most common place people move from is Alberta.
The top three reasons people are coming to the area are lifestyle change, to be near family and job opportunities or a job transfer.
The survey also said when people were asked for additional comments people said “happy people” , “extremely welcoming” and “very friendly.”