There is a youthful optimism in Regina that has been building for the last few years. The secret behind this new audacious spirit is really no secret at all, Regina has indeed become a significantly younger city. In 2018 Stats Canada ranked Regina as the fourth youngest city in Canada, with Saskatchewan weighing in as the second youngest province overall. This demographic shift has fed a veritable renaissance in the city, as new industries emerge, young entrepreneurs start budding ventures, and a whole host of new events and experiences find their way to Regina.
Between July 2016 and July 2017, Regina saw 2.4% increase in population, one of the highest in the country. Much of this growth was due to a greater retention of young people in the city compared to years past, and a continued influx of new immigrant families to Regina. This has shifted the median age in the city, with 87% of the population now under the age of 65.
A young population has a number of implications for growth, not the least of which being new development trends. Jason Carlston is the VP of Land Development for Dream Development, one of Regina’s largest development companies. He believes that Regina’s youthful population has a higher demand for experiences than previous generations, and this has been reflected both in a revitalization of Regina’s downtown core, and the desire for more meeting spaces in new developments.
“There seems to be a desire amongst people to gather,” said Carlston. “Whether it’s gathering in our public open spaces, or in public institutions, commercial activities, or intentional plazas, we’re seeing a great interest in more activities, functions, and events which is really positive.”
Regina’s young and diverse population has also had a significant impact on the talent pool in the city. There is a powerful opportunity for locally-based companies to recruit new graduates to entry-level positions and build them up within the organization according to Alicia Thaver, Director of People and Culture at IQmetrix, one of Regina’s most successful software companies.
“We’ve found that’s one of the big things that has allowed IQmetrix to be successful overall,” said Thaver. “The fact that we’re able to bring in so many people who are passionate and energetic and then build them through the company, where they start rising through the ranks into different leadership positions."
A Diverse Demographic
Regina’s population isn’t just getting younger, it’s also become extremely diverse. In 2017 Regina experienced an international immigration rate of 2.1%, the highest of any city in Canada. In fact, this is the second year in a row the city has topped the list, a trend that is on track to continue into 2019 and beyond. Regina’s new international population is helping to spur the economy and further enrich the city’s culture.
“Demographically Regina is becoming much more cosmopolitan. International migration has benefited us that way, and we’re seeing our neighbourhoods be much more inclusive and diverse, which is a really positive from a cultural perspective.”
Thaver echoes this sentiment, noting that new immigrants’ participation in the economy is clearly reflected in a new and varied talent pool.
“We’ve seen a lot of new people coming to Canada, and they’re choosing Regina as the place where they want to go,” said Thaver. “Then we’re able to take advantage from an employment perspective of that diversity and those new ideas, which creates more innovation and ultimately more opportunity for new people to come to Regina. It becomes a really positive cycle.”
This cycle shows no signs of breaking any time soon as Regina’s young and diverse population continues to pioneer new and exciting initiatives and experiences in the city, all the while adopting a strong culture of community and support. It’s clear that Regina is a place where anyone, of any age, from any background, is set up for success and an unmatched quality of life.