SASKATOON – The city has estimated that Saskatoon’s population has topped a quarter million people by the beginning of March.

By using the latest Statistics Canada figures up to July 1, 2013 and applying a three per cent annual growth rate, city planners calculated the population reached around 253,000 as of Saturday.

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“Based on the information from Statistics Canada, we have increased by a rate of 40.4 per thousand, which hasn’t been achieved by any other census metropolitan in more than 15 years,” said Alan Wallace, the city’s planning and development director.

“Our growing, thriving, economy and high quality of life make the city an attractive place for new residents and recent Canadians to call home.”

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Using the same calculation for the Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which includes surrounding rural communities, it is estimated to have nearly reached 300,000.

Planners regularly calculate population estimates using StatsCan information to assist the city in identifying future needs.