While seniors now outnumber children in Canada for the first time ever, that’s still not the case in Grande Prairie. Kids 14 and under made up 21.7 per cent of the city’s population in the 2016 census, while those 65 and older represent 7.1 per cent.
Seniors are outnumbered by children four and under alone at 5,285 compared to 4,510. The city also has double the number of millennials (22,080 aged 15-34) than it does baby boomers (11,065 aged 50-69). Seniors make up 16.9 per cent of the total Canadian population, while children make up 16.6 per cent.
The Prairies were the only provinces in Canada to have millennials outnumber baby boomers and children outnumber seniors. The latter also holds true in the County of Grande Prairie, where children make up even more of the population than the city. 23.3 per cent of County residents are under the age of 15, while 9 per cent are over 65.
However, there are still more baby boomers than millennials, but by just under two per cent of the population. No one in the County has reached 100 years of age yet, but there are five centenarians in the city.
While Grande Prairie has historically been one of the country’s youngest cities, it’s beat this year by both Cold Lake and Wood Buffalo in Alberta. The average age in the city is now 33.5 years, while the national average is 41. In the County it is 36.1 years.
Statistics Canada has switched to using the average age instead of a median. It explains the median age won’t adjust well when all baby boomers have moved to older ages.
“Median age does not account for shifts in the age structure at older ages, as it only divides the population in two groups of equal size,” reads a statement emailed to 2day FM. “Mean age will adjust better for the changes in the age distribution at older ages, for example when boomers reach age 85 and above. Thus, as population aging has just accelerated in Canada, we believe mean age will be more consistent with the other key messages than median age.”
The past census in 2011 calculated the median age in Grande Prairie at 30.3 years, which has since risen to 32. The median in the County is 37 years.
It was released in February that Grande Prairie’s population had risen from 2011 but dropped from the 2015 municipal census to 63,166. There are 26,204 private dwellings in the city, 23,676 of which are occupied by regular residents.
63 per cent of those are single-detached homes. Another 17 per cent are apartment buildings under five5 stories, which is up more than two per cent from the 2011 census. People living in duplexes and movable homes have dropped.
The County of Grande Prairie’s population grew from the revised number of 19,724 in 2011 to 22,303 in 2016. 7,684 of its 8,291 private dwellings have tenants that regularly live in the County, and 73 per cent of those occupied are single-detached homes. Almost all of the other homes are movable.