Census data is a valuable tool for land use planning. Understanding the rate and extent of growth and urbanization helps local governments to manage their communities, including planning the location of new housing and infrastructure, as well as improving transportation links, public services and the environment. Census information is also vital to the preparation of Official Community Plans, which are required by the BC Local Government Act to include residential growth policies.
The 2016 Census population for the Cowichan Valley Regional District is 83,739. Just over 55% of the population (46,383 people) live in the municipalities of Duncan, North Cowichan, Ladysmith and Lake Cowichan. The remainder live in CVRD Electoral Areas which also encompass several First Nations reserves.