Families aren't choosing to live in Kamloops, Kelowna downtowns | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Families aren't choosing to live in Kamloops, Kelowna downtowns

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Families with the youngest children tend to live farthest away from the downtown cores of the Thompson-Okanagan’s two largest cities.

Recently released data from the 2021 Canadian census shows that 22.1% of residents in the South Mission area of Kelowna are under the age of 14 while some areas of downtown have as few as 6.5% of the population under 14.

For Kamloops, areas of Barnhartvale to the far east of the city are the youngest, at 19.5% of the population being under the age of 14 while parts of downtown come in at 3.9%.

The data is broken down by what Statistics Canada calls census tracks. They don’t necessarily correspond with what some residents might consider to be downtown and don’t coincide with things like neighbourhood association boundaries.

Downtown Kamloops, for example, is divided into a strip along the South Thompson River between the Overlander and Yellowhead (Highway 5) bridges, with Seymour, Battle and Nicola streets being the southern boundary.

That area has only 3.9% of its population under the age of 14.

The other part of downtown, south of that area to Highway 97, is younger, with 11% under the age of 14.

Lower Sahali has 9.6% of its residents under the age of 14 while that rises to 18.7% in parts of Upper Salahi and Aberdeen.

The North Shore’s three census track areas range from 13% closer to downtown up to 15.8% at its most northerly end. Heading from there out to the airport in the Brocklehurst area shows about 16.5% under the age of 14. Valleyview comes in at 18.3%

There are more than 20 census track areas in Kamloops. The map can be seen here and the data is here.

Kelowna has about 27 census track areas.

The downtown area from Highway 97 to Knox Mountain and bounded on the east by Ellis and Richter streets, has only 6.5% of its residents under the age of 14. That, however, is a marked difference from the 2016 census when only 3.6% were under 14.

The rest of what many would consider Kelowna’s downtown – the areas bounded by Richter Street and Gordon Drive, north of Highway 97, is only slightly younger than the rest of downtown, with 8.8% being under 14.

Unlike the other part of downtown, it’s getting older, dropping down from 9.2% in 2016.

(Kamloops doesn’t have comparable data from the 2016 census since it’s only provided for census metropolitan areas for each census. Those are areas with more than 100,000 people and Kamloops didn’t qualify prior to 2021.)

READ MORE: Why it's a good thing the Kamloops area now has a population of over 100,000

The North End of downtown, north of Clement Avenue, is slightly younger again, with 10.5% under the age of 14.

South of the highway, roughly to Kelowna General Hospital, percentages range from 8.1% to 9.8%. Generally, the under 14 percentages get higher the further south they are from downtown.

The neighbourhood south of Boyce Gyro Park has 10.6% under 14 and the area down to DeHart Road climbs to 15.9% before reaching a high of 22.1% even further south.

The other major areas of the city show Rutland ranging from 13% to 16.3% under that age of 14 while the Glenmore valley ranges from 11.1% to 19.2%, with the largest proportion under the age of 14 being north of Kane Road.

Black Mountain, which is the neighbourhood that’s furthest east from downtown, has a fairly high 17.9% of its population under the age of 14.

As for surrounding communities, Lake Country ranges from 13% to 15% and Peachland came in at 9.3%.

West Kelowna has more than a dozen census track areas with the area closest to downtown showing 12.5% under 19, Casa Loma 7.9% and Glenrosa at 18.3%.

The Rose Valley/West Kelowna Estates and North Westside Road have the highest ratios of younger people, at 19.3% and 20% respectively. The largely industrial neighbourhood north of Highway 97 bounded by Auburn and Westlake roads shows only 3.3% are under the age of 14.

Most areas in Kelowna have a lower percentage of younger people now than they did in 2016 but there is one notable exception, along with downtown.

Much of the area south of Highway 97 to the hospital and east to Gordon Drive have gained at least 0.5% in the proportion of their population being under the age of 14.

The North End of downtown is the most notable for growing older, dropping to 10.5% under the age of 14 now versus 14.2% in 2016.

The census track map for Kelowna can be seen here and the list of densities here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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