Summerland’s population demographics have changed and today those aged 65 and older make up nearly one-third of the community’s population. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland’s population demographics have changed and today those aged 65 and older make up nearly one-third of the community’s population. (Summerland Review file photo)

Nearly one-third of Summerland residents are 65 or older

Statistics Canada census figures for 2021 also show increase in number of children

Nearly one in three Summerland residents are over the age of 65, according to the latest census data released by Statistics Canada.

At the same time, the number of children in the community has also been increasing.

The statistics, which show the age characteristics of the population, were released on April 27.

The figures showed a noticeable increase in the number of seniors in the community. In 2021, there were 3,840 Summerland residents, or 31.9 per cent of the community’s population of 12,042 aged 65 and older. This includes 455, or 3.8 per cent, who are 85 and older.

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The percentage of those 65 and older increased slightly from the figures in the 2016 census. Six years ago, 30.3 per cent of Summerland’s population was 65 and older.

However, the average age of the population was higher in 2016, as was the median age of the population.

While the population and proportion of seniors in Summerland has been increasing, the community has also seen a rise in the number of children.

There were 1,570 children 14 years of age and younger in the 2021 survey figures. This represents 13 per cent of the community’s population.

In 2016, there were 1,430 children 14 and younger, making up 12.3 per cent of the total population.

The median age of the population in Summerland has been increasing in recent years. The 2021 census and the 2016 census both showed a median age of 54.4. In 2011, the median age in Summerland was 52.0 and in 2006 it was 49.5.

Summerland’s 2021 population demographics differ slightly from the demographics within the entire Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. The regional district statistics show a slightly higher percentage of people aged 65 and older, and a lower percentage of children. The median age in the regional district, at 56.0, is slightly higher than Summerland’s median age.

The average age in Summerland was 49.2 in 2021, down from 49.8 in 2016. By comparison, the average age in the regional district was 50.5 and the average age in the city of Penticton was 49.

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