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Greater Victoria residents older than B.C., Canadian average

West Shore boasts youngest population while Saanich Peninsula has the oldest
According to Statistics Canada, the average age in Victoria CMA is 44.8 years with variations across the region. Langford is the youngest community at 39.1 years with Sidney the oldest at 56 years. (Black Press Media file photo)

Nearly one in four residents of Victoria Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) is 65 years and older with the West Shore boasting the region’s youngest population.

According to new figures from Statistics Canada as part of the 2021 Census, 23.4 per cent of the 397,237 people living in the region were above the official retirement age.

Looking at specific municipalities, Langford – the fastest-growing municipality in the region and third-fastest growing municipality in all of Canada with 30 per cent growth relative to 2016 – is also the youngest municipality in the region with an average age of 39.1 years.

This figure means that the average Langford resident is almost six years younger than the average resident in Victoria CMA at 44.8 years. At the other end of the spectrum, both in terms of age and geography, lies Sidney with an average age of 56 years.

Victoria — the region’s cultural, commercial and service hub — had an average age of 45.2 years in 2021 while Saanich — the region’s largest municipality with 117,735 residents — had an average age of 44.3 years in 2021. Oak Bay — which includes the region’s most expensive real estate — has an average age of 49.7 years.

Overall, the average age of Victoria CMA is 2.9 years above the national average and 1.7 years above the provincial average. While Canadian society is aging as a whole, Greater Victoria, especially the Saanich Peninsula, appears already ahead of the greying curve.

RELATED: Langford tops population growth in B.C., third-fastest in Canada: 2021 census

These figures, however, do not tell the whole story when it comes to the region’s age. Consider the various First Nations that call the region home as their respective populations are younger, sometimes by more than a decade than the rest of the region. Esquimalt Nation, as described by Stats Canada, has an average age of 33.2 years. Elsewhere in the region, Union Bay 4 — the Census subdivision capturing Tseycum First Nation — has an average age of 34.4 years. The figures are similar for Cole Bay 3 (Pauquachin First Nation) with an average age of 35 and South Saanich 1 (Tsartlip First Nation) with 36.2 years.

This said, exceptions to this pattern exist. New Songhees 1A has an average age of 47.6 years and South Saanich 2 (Tsawout First Nation) has an average age of 56.4 years.

Looking at households and dwelling types, about one-third of all 176,675 households are single households with two-person households (65,830) accounting for 37.2 per cent. Households with three or more individuals (51,250) account for 29 per cent. Just over 38 per cent of all households (67,260) live in single-detached houses in Victoria CMA. Just under 27 per cent (47,460) live in apartment buildings with fewer than five storeys while just over eight per cent (14,650) live in apartment buildings with more than five storeys.

Overall, the average household size in Victoria CMA is 2.2. Looking at specific communities, Langford’s average household has 2.4 members while Sidney’s average household has two. Household sizes are also generally higher in local First Nation communities than outside of them. Union Bay 4 (Tseycum First Nation) has an average household size of 2.7 members, while Esquimalt Nation has an average household size of 3.1 members.

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Wolf Depner

About the Author: Wolf Depner

I joined the national team with Black Press Media in 2023 from the Peninsula News Review, where I had reported on Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula since 2019.
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