Nelson’s Charlie Bunce, age 95, is seen here doing volunteer work for the Nelson Electric Tramway Society. The average age of the West Kootenay population is slightly older than it was in 2016, according to the latest Census. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Nelson’s Charlie Bunce, age 95, is seen here doing volunteer work for the Nelson Electric Tramway Society. The average age of the West Kootenay population is slightly older than it was in 2016, according to the latest Census. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

2021 Census: Age of West Kootenay residents older than provincial, national averages

Creston has the region’s oldest residents, while Nelson has its youngest

The West Kootenay isn’t getting any younger.

Demographic data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday as part of the 2021 Census shows the region’s residents are creeping up in age.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), which includes Nelson, Castlegar and Creston, has an average age of 46.6 years old. That’s up slightly from the average of 45.8 years reported in the 2016 Census.

Residents of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), which includes Trail and Grand Forks, remained 47 years.

The region skews older than both the national average of 41.9 years and the B.C. average of 43.1 years.

Grand Forks and Creston, however, each saw slight drops in average age. Creston is the oldest Kootenay municipality with a population over 4,000, but saw its age get slightly younger since 2016 by moving from 52.2 years old to 51.7. Grand Forks, meanwhile, fell from 50.4 years to 48.7.

Nelson remained the youngest population in the West Kootenay with an average age of 43, up slightly from 42.5 years in 2016.

There were also 20 centenarians living in the West Kootenay in 2021, with 15 residing in the RDCK.

While the West Kootenay may have an older population, it also follows a national trend with one in five Canadians now aged 65 or older. The population of seniors aged 85 and older grew in Canada by 12 per cent since 2016.

Here’s how the regional data breaks down:

Nelson (population: 11,106)

Average age: 43 (up from 42.5 in 2016)

Total residents ages 0-14: 1,545

Ages 15-64: 7,275

Ages 65-plus: 2,285 (20.6 per cent of the population, up 1.9 per cent 2016)

Ages 85-plus: 335

Castlegar (population: 8,338)

Average age: 45 (up from 44.9 in 2016)

Total residents ages 0-14: 1,225

Ages 15-64: 5,040

Ages 65-plus: 2,070 (24.8 per cent of the population, up 1.6 per cent from 2016)

Ages 85-plus: 250

Trail (population: 7,920)

Average age: 47.1 (no change from 2016)

Total residents ages 0-14: 1,025

Ages 15-64: 4,690

Ages 65-plus: 2,205 (27.8 per cent of the population, up one per cent from 2016)

Ages 85-plus: 315

Creston (population: 5,583)

Average age: 51.7 (down from 52.2 in 2016)

Total residents ages 0-14: 665

Ages 15-64: 2,770

Ages 65-plus: 2,150 (38.5 per cent of the population, up1.6 per cent from 2016)

Ages 85-plus: 345

Grand Forks (population: 4,112)

Average age: 48.7 (down 1.7 per cent from 2016)

Total residents ages0-14: 510

Ages 15-64: 2,350

Ages 65-plus: 1,240 (30 per cent of the population, down 3.3 per cent from 2016)

Ages 85-plus: 200

RDCK (population 62,509)

Average age: 46.6 (up 0.8 per cent from 2016)

Total residents ages 0-14: 8,520

Ages 15-64: 37,445

Ages 65-plus: 16,535 (26.5 per cent of the population, up three per cent from 2016)

Ages 85-plus: 1,585

RDKB (population 33,152)

Average age: 47.4 (up 0.4 per cent from 2016)

Total residents ages 0-14: 4,350

Ages 15-64: 19,605

Ages 65-plus: 9,195 (27.7 per cent of the population, up 2.3 per cent from 2016)

Ages 85-plus: 940

READ MORE:

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

2021 Census: Nelson’s population now more than 11,000

New census data offers snapshot of Canada’s transgender population for first time

Who cares for the caregiver? A Castlegar senior’s struggle to care for her husband

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Census