Qualicum Beach has most seniors over 65 in the country

Municipalities with older populations have higher concentration of women

Parksville and Qualicum Beach are two of four Canadian municipalities where two-in-five people are aged 65 and older, according to Statistics Canada data released Wednesday morning (May 3).

Qualicum Beach comes in at number one with 52.1 per cent of the population over the age of 65, and Parksville ranks third with 42. 4 per cent. The other two municipalities in the top four are Osoyoose, with 42.9 per cent, and Sidney, with 40.9 per cent.

The federal agency’s numbers show that municipalities with older populations, such as Parksville and Qualicum Beach, have higher concentrations of women. Among municipalities of 5,000 people or more, both Parksville and Qualicum Beach have about 83 men for every 100 women.

This is the second set of results from the 2016 Census of Population. The results focus on the age and sex distribution of the Canadian population and on the types of dwellings in 2016 at the national, provincial, territorial and sub-provincial levels.

For the first time in census history, the share of seniors aged 65 years and over (16.9 per cent) exceeds the share of children under 15 years (16.6 per cent) whereas in 2011, the share of seniors aged 65 and over was 14.8 per cent and children under the age of 15 was 16.7 per cent.

It’s estimated that by 2031, about 23 per cent of Canadians could be 65 years or older while the amount of children under the age of 15 could remain around 16 per cent.

In 2016, 1.2 per cent of Canadians lived in nursing homes or residences for senior citizens. Given the overall aging population, Statistics Canada states this type of living arrangement is expected to grow in the future.

Many aspects of Canadian society, according the data, are being shaped by the fact that the first baby boomers (born 1946-1965) turned 65 in 2011, which led to a 20-per cent increase in the number of people aged 65 and older. This was the largest increase in 70 years.

— NEWS Staff