According to a new study released by Statistics Canada, Saskatoon and Regina were the fastest growing and youngest cities in census metropolitan areas (CMAs). The study tracked populations between July 1, 2011 and July 1, 2012.

For the third year in a row, Saskatoon landed the top spot – jumping up by a rate of 40.4 persons per thousand of population. The move was the highest jump in any CMA population in the last 15 years. That boost equals an extra 11,000 people in the city in 2012 over 2011.

“It’s no secret that this province is experiencing unprecedented population growth and the strength of our Saskatchewan people can be thanked for that,” Economy Minister Bill Boyd said in a press release.

Saskatoon Mayor, Don Atchison, said the numbers are a reflection of the success of the city and the province. Mayor Atchison also noted that a big part of Saskatoon’s growth is the city’s own outreach initiatives. “Here is Saskatoon we’ve been doing more of that, getting the word out and meeting with different consulates. People are becoming more aware of what we have here,” he said.

The average age in Saskatoon is 34.9 years old, which is considerably lower than the Canadian average of 40.

The young age of Saskatoon’s population is a credit to the prospects available here, Atchison said. “Young people are staying here. No longer do they have to graduate and look to the west or the rest of the world for job opportunities. Those opportunities are here,” the mayor said