Demographics describe the age, gender, ethnicity and family types of residents in a particular area. This information is used to better understand current community needs for public and private goods and services and to predict future needs.Notes on population estimates in the Basin:
1) These estimates are for full-time residents and do not include part-time residents or seasonal home-owners. Measuring the number of part-time home-owners is a challenge that is being looked at by the Selkirk College Rural Innovation Chair (see contact below).
2) These estimates are based on the 2006 census and have been adjusted by BC Stats to incorporate an estimate of the census undercount. They will differ from the estimates provided by Statistics Canada.
Why is this important?
The total population gives us an idea of the types of services that are likely to be available in an area. Changes in total population over time signal potential shifts in community needs.
There are substantial differences in total population in local areas across the Basin. These differences range from regional centres like Cranbrook, Nelson and Trail with about 20-25,000 people, to large rural areas with less than 5,000 residents. In the past five years the population change in local areas has varied from increases of 6% to declines of 6%.
What are the trends
and current conditions?
Compared to BC, a higher percentage of people aged 45-74 live in the Basin, with a lower percentage of people aged 20-44 years (see pyramid).
Both child and senior dependencies are provided: children are under age 18 and seniors are over age 65. The workforce includes ages 18-64.
The dependency level is calculated by dividing the dependent population by the workforce population. For example, in a population with 1,000 children, 600 elders and 3,000 people of working age, the child dependency rate would be 33% and the senior dependency rate would be 20%, with a total of 53% of the population 'dependent' on the workforce.
Why is this important?
Many of the supports provided to children and seniors such as personal care, parenting, education, playgrounds, health care, activity programs, and facilities are supported by personal time and tax dollars contributed by those who are in the workforce. With higher percentages, dependency increases, and the greater the challenge may be for the workforce to maintain these supports and services. What are the trends and current conditions?
Within the Basin child dependence varies from 25% to 37%(see graph), and senior dependence ranges from 13% to 40%. Total dependence ranges from 43% to 77%.
The "boomer" generation will start to reach age 65 in 2011, so senior dependency rates are likely to increase significantly over the next 10 years.