June 13, 2012

Villages have sharpest population decreases

As published in The Erin Advocate

Hillsburgh and Erin village have had more severe reductions in population since 2006 than the rural areas of the Town, according to community profiles released by Statistics Canada.

In February, figures for the 2011 census showed the Town of Erin with 10,770 people overall, a decline of 3.4% since 2006. It was the first decline since the 1930s.

More detailed results released on May 29 showed the 2011 Hillsburgh population at 1,065. This is a 7.9% decline in five years, a loss of 91 residents. Hillsburgh now accounts for 9.8% of the Town total.

The Erin village profile showed a loss of 157 residents, a decline of 5.5%, leaving a 2011 population of 2,674. That is 24.8% of the Town total. (In the early 1900s, Erin village represented less than 15% of the local population, including the former Township, but since 1961 it has been close to 25%.)

The population of the rural area (including hamlets such as Ballinafad, Ospringe and Crewson's Corners) also declined from 2006 to 2011, but only by 1.8%. The loss of 130 residents left the population of that sector at 7,031.

Town-wide, the number of children under age 15 is 1,860, just 17.2% of the population, close to the provincial level of 17.0%. There has been a steady decline in Erin, with 24% under age 15 in 1996, 22.4% in 2001 and 19.7% in 2006.

According to a census report called The Canadian Population in 2011: Age and Sex, the number of children in Canada aged 4 and under increased 11% between 2006 and 2011. This was the highest growth rate for this age group since the 1956 to 1961 period during the baby boom.

Most baby-boomers (born 1946 to 1965) are still working. Among the G8 countries, Canada has one of the highest proportions of working-age people.

Fewer young people are about to enter the labour force than those about to leave it. In 2011, census data showed for the first time that there were more people in the age group where people typically leave the labour force (55 to 64), than in the age group where people typically enter it (15 to 24).

The median age in the Town of Erin is 44.6, compared to 39.5 in all of Wellington County. In the 40-60 age range, Erin has 4,035 residents. But in the 20-40 age range, there are only 1,895.

There are 1330 residents aged 65 and older, which is 12.3% of the population, less than the 14.4% level reported provincially. That continues an upward trend in the Town of Erin, with 7.7% 65 and older in 1996, 8.7% in 2001 and 10.1% in 2006.

All of the age groups are broken down by sex. Among younger seniors (aged 60-79) in the Town of Erin, there were 980 men and 890 women in 2011. Among those aged 80 and over, there were 115 men and 145 women.

Nationally, the number of seniors aged 65 and over increased 14.1% between 2006 and 2011 to nearly 5 million. This rate of growth was higher than that of children aged 14 and under (0.5%) and people aged 15 to 64 (5.7%). Despite this growth, the proportion of seniors in Canada is among the lowest of the G8 countries.

The 2011 population of Ontario was 12.9 million, making up 38.4% of Canada's 33.5 million people. The Town of Erin accounts for .032% of the Canadian total.