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Press Release

Summerside population sees largest increase since amalgamation

SUMMERSIDE, PE – Many in our community continue to hear about population growth as a province and a region, but what does this mean for Summerside? Well, for starters, in the 20-year period between 1996 and 2016, Summerside grew by 304 new residents. Over the five years between 2016 and 2021, Summerside has added the same number of people per year that it added in total in the previous 20 years combined. What these numbers indicate is that we, as a city, are in an undeniable phase of growth.

With birthrates falling behind death rates, Summerside’s population growth is fully driven by international and interprovincial migration and has seen the number of visible minorities increases from 525 in 2016 to over 1,395 in 2021.

“The statistics of recent growth are encouraging however, Summerside simply needs to continue to grow and become younger as our path to future success as a community demands it. As our economy in Summerside continues to diversify, so is our population, which is critical to supporting an already challenged labor force. We need to continue to focus on being a welcoming community as we move forward,” commented Mayor Dan Kutcher.

In 2016 Summerside had approximately 600 businesses which have grown to well over 800 in 2023. While this business growth is welcomed and indicates the vibrancy of the local economy, population growth is required to encourage this ongoing business growth and the labor force needed to support it. Projections indicate that our population increases will need to meet or surpass 250 (3%) annually to sustain growth projections for the next decade in order to satisfy labor force demands.

“Summerside, like Prince Edward Island, continues to struggle with labor shortages and remains a top concern for the Summerside business community. Over the past three years, employers in Summerside have continued to struggle to attract labor to fill their needs. Island-wide, this is becoming a chronic issue across the broad spectrum of skilled and unskilled occupations. Attracting both skilled and unskilled labor is a foundational focus of our population growth strategy as companies continue to expand, labor force turnover, and new enterprises established in our growing community, attracting and positioning our city is key to filling these positions.” commented Mike Thususka, Director of Economic Development.

Statistical modelling indicates that Summerside’s population will exceed 20,000 by 2031, and the city understands the importance of ensuring it supports meeting and surpassing these targets, as this is the only path forward to sustaining a strong and vibrant community.

To learn more about Summerside's population opportunities, click HERE.

The City of Summerside is located in Prince County, Prince Edward Island, Canada, with the mindset of promoting and advancing its small city with big opportunities. Summerside offers a diverse market and skilled workforce and is a leader in sectors such as green energy, sport tourism and rapid economic growth. To learn more, please visit or connect through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

For further information or media inquiries, please contact:

JP Desrosiers 
Deputy CAO 
City of Summerside 
Tanner Doiron 
Communications Manager 
City of Summerside 
Sandra Zarvie
Executive Assistant
City of Summerside
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