Rest of Comox Valley aging faster than Cumberland

The Comox Valley is growing and getting older, but Cumberland may hold the key to the fountain of youth.

The Comox Valley is growing and getting older, but Cumberland may hold the key to the fountain of youth. This is according to information from Statistics Canada, which released the 2011 census profile this week.According to their data, while the number of seniors aged 65 and over increased 14.1 per cent between 2006 and 2011 to nearly five million — accounting for a record high 14.8 per cent of the population across Canada — the median age of the population of the village is 10 years below that of the Comox Valley as a whole, 3.7 years below that of  B.C, and 2.4 years below that of Canada.In Comox and Courtenay, the median age of the population sits at 49.1 and 46.5 respectively, with the median age in B.C. at 41.9, that of the Comox Valley at 48.3 and that of Canada at 40.6.In the three municipalities, the population change has increased, with the largest influx in Courtenay (24,099) at 2,078 more residents than in 2006, followed by Comox (13,627) at 1,242, and Cumberland (3,398) at 636.In 2011 in Canada, census data showed for the first time there were more people aged 55 to 64, typically the age group where people leave the labour force, than aged 15 to 24, typically the age group where people enter. The national trend prevailed in Courtenay, where the largest age group is 60 to 64 years (1,885), while in Comox, it is 45 to 49 years (1,090) followed closely by the 60 to 64 year age group (1,080).Keeping with their youth trend, Cumberland’s largest age population is between 30 and 34 years (290), followed closely by 35 to 39 years (280).Despite the overall greying of the population, Canada’s population is among the youngest in the G8. In 2011, only the United States and Russia had a lower proportion of seniors than Canada.Statistics Canada noted the baby boom in Canada was larger than in many other G8 countries, and most baby boomers have not yet reached age 65.With the larger aging population, the proportion of people aged 45 to 64 among the working-age population reached 42.4 per cent — a record proportion, according to the census. In 1991, the proportion was 28.6 per cent.The area with the highest proportions of the population aged 65 and over in the country can be found not far away in Parksville-Qualicum Beach, at 38.6 per cent, followed by Elliot Lake, Ont., at 35.1 per cent.Census information on families, households and marital status along with dwelling types will be released by Statistics Canada Sept. 19, while information on language will be released Oct. 24.photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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