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Kamloops is youngest of region’s larger cities: Census

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Kamloops has an average age of 42.4 years for its 97,902 residents, the youngest of the Thompson-Okanagan’s five major cities.

Penticton is the oldest at 48.9 years.

Kelowna has an average age of 43.2 years, West Kelowna is 43.3 and Vernon is the second oldest at 47.2.

Each city is older than the Canadian average age of 41.9 years but most are close to the B.C. average of 43.1 years.

That data was released by Statistics Canada today, April 27, in its second publication of results from the 2021 data.

READ MORE: Sun Peaks, Lake Country and Kelowna fastest growing communities in Thompson-Okanagan

“A person's age is closely related to the goods they consume and the services they need,” states the report accompanying the numbers. “For example, a young adult may be thinking about buying their first home or purchasing goods and services to meet the needs of their young family, such as daycare. An older, retired person may seek out other goods and services, such as those related to recreation and health, and may even buy a smaller home or a car after their children have moved out.”

Canada’s population has been gradually getting older for decades but it is still the third-youngest of the G-7 group of countries, behind the U.S. and U.K.

“Never before has the number of people nearing retirement been so high,” the report says. “More than 1 in 5 (21.8%) persons of working age are aged 55 to 64. This is an all-time high in the history of Canadian censuses and one of the factors behind the labour shortages facing some industries across the country.”

In terms of the working age population, aged 15-64, only Kelowna has a larger proportion (65%) in this age group than the national average of 64.8%. But Kelowna is still below the provincial ratio of 65.3% of residents being of working age.

Kamloops matches that national average at 64.8%.

Penticton has the lowest proportion of working age residents of the five cities at 57.8%. Vernon is at 58.3% and West Kelowna at 62.4%.

READ MORE: 2021 census shows number of seniors over 85 expected to triple in next 25 years

The data release also contains information on the number of dwellings and housing types.

West Kelowna has the highest ratio of people living in single-family homes at 64.5% while Penticton is the lowest at 37.9%.

Kelowna has 39.4% of its residents living in single-family homes, Vernon is at 44.2% and Kamloops is at 48.3%.

West Kelowna also has the largest families, with an average of 2.6 people per household. Penticton, too, is the lowest at 2.1 people per household, followed by Vernon at 2.2, Kelowna at 2.3 people and Kamloops at 2.4.

Kamloops has the highest ratio of homes “occupied by usual residents” at 95.9% while Kelowna is the lowest at 93.7%.

“Private dwellings occupied by usual residents refers to a private dwelling in which a person or a group of persons is permanently residing,” Statistics Canada states. “Also included are private dwellings whose usual residents are temporarily absent on May 11, 2021.”

West Kelowna follows at 94.7%, Penticton is at 94.1% and Vernon comes in at 92.9%.


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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