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Vision 2012: demographics now

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The population in the Cowichan Valley is continuing to climb at a steady rate.

Results from the 2011 Statistics Canada Census show a population of 80,332 for the Cowichan Valley Regional District. That's up from 76,929 recorded during the last Census in 2006 for a 4.4 per cent increase.

Previous Census figures revealed a population of 52,466 in 1986, 60,560 in 1991 and 70,978 in 1996.

At the rate of growth being seen, economic development manager Geoff Millar forecasted in 2006 the region's population would hit close to 100,000 by 2020. It might fall short of that now, but there's every reason to believe it will keep going upward.

"Compared to the rest of the province outside of the Lower Mainland, we're growing at a faster rate,'' Millar said at the time.

The total number of private dwellings in the region is pegged at 35,922 according to Census information, with 33,163 occupied by usual residents. With a land area of 3,474.55 square kilometres, the population density for the valley works out to 23.1 residents per square kilometre.

The median age of the population is 47.2, with 84.6 per cent aged 15 and older.

There are slightly more females than males, with 41,135 residents compared to 39,195 in the district.

The four age groups with the largest overall numbers are all consecutive from 45 to 64. Stats show 6,280 people between the ages of 45 and 49, 6,985 between 50 and 54, 6,805 from 55 to 59 and 6,775 from 60 to 64.

Those figures are also consistent with what's happening across British Columbia. Three of those age groups also have the highest numbers in the province's overall total of 4,400,055 residents - 350,600 in 45 to 49, 354, 610 in 50 to 54 and 323,335 in 55 to 59.

There are currently 2,050 residents aged 85 and older in the valley.

Interestingly, seven of the 10 municipalities with the highest proportion of persons aged 65 and older are located in B.C. One of the highest concentrations of seniors is located in nearby Parksville, with 38.6 per cent of the population fitting into that category.

More Census information regarding families, households and marital status will be released in September. Language details will follow in October.

For further Census information, go to www.statcan.gc.ca.

 

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