Who are we now? More Census 2021 Results Released

Late last month, Stats Canada published another slice of information gleaned from the 2021 Census study. 

This release outlined population changes by age and gender and housing changes in the community.

In 2021, the enumerated population of Cavan-Monaghan, Township (CSD) was 10,016, which represents a change of 13.4% from 2016. This rate is significantly higher than the average provincial population growth rate of 5.8% and the national average of 5.2%.

It is even high compared to our neighbouring communities.  Closer to home, both Peterborough and Port Hope experienced a 3.2% population increase over the same period, while the fastest growth rate amongst our neighbouring municipalities was experienced in Clarington whose population rose by 10.2%, and Selwyn which experienced a 9.3% growth.  It may seem that our growth rate is significant, particularly in the context of our neighbours, but it pales in comparison to the fastest growing Ontario community of comparable size, which is East Gwillimbury.  This municipality sits just north of Newmarket and is part of the GTA.  Its population rose by 44.4% over the five year period covered by the 2021 Census.

To house our new residents, new homes came on stream.  At the time of the Census last summer there were 3,553 occupied private dwellings in Cavan Monaghan, reflecting a growth of 11.5% from 2016 levels.  Single-detached homes made up 94.5% of all occupied homes.  Our average household size is 2.8, but more than 1,000 residents live in a household housing four or more people.

This growth raised our population density to 32.7 people per square kilometre, which remains quite low. As a point of comparison, the population density in Selwyn is 59 people per square kilometre and 4,427.8 in the City of Toronto.

The age distribution of our population changed over the last five years, rising slightly in the youngest and oldest categories.  Children up to age 14 represent 17.8% of our population, slightly higher than the national average of 16.3%.  We also have more seniors than the national average, with 21% of our population aged 65 and older compared to the national average of 19%.

The April release was the second of seven major releases of data.  In mid-July, the government will share information about Canadian families and houses, Canadian military experience and income profiles, followed by linguistic diversity information in August, a housing portrait in September, immigration, population and mobility in October and education and labour force dynamics in November.

Perhaps the staged release of Census data is linked to the task of processing the volume of information collected.  When all has been revealed, Census data will provide policy and lawmakers with information about socioeconomic trends that can directly influence local decisions, including planning for schools, daycare, housing, hospitals, emergency services, roads, public transportation and employment skills training.  The resulting statistical portrait of neighbourhoods large and small across the country also helps establish electoral boundaries, inter-governmental transfer payments and indicate the nature and level of social services required.  Demographic details describing local workforce profiles also helps businesses make investment decisions that result in job creation.  A profile indicating an educated and experienced local workforce could help tip the balance in attracting employers seeking more than a property tax break and a good transportation network – but those factors help as well.  KG

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