City’s population on the rise and other census snippets

·3 min read

The city’s population has risen to over 11,000 people for the first time in its history.

Recent data from the 2020 Statistics Canada Census has Nelson at 11,106 people, up from 10,572 from the 2016 census, an increase of 5.1 per cent. Within that total, women outnumber the men, 5,760 to 5,345.

The average age of the population of Nelson was 43, while the average Nelson woman was aged 44.3, the Nelson male average age was 41.6.

The largest demographic is the 15 to 64 age bracket — with 65.5 per cent of the population — while those 65-85 comprised 20.6 per cent and 14 and under 13.9 per cent. People 85 years and older were three per cent of the population.

Of the 4,945 total occupied private dwellings (by structural type of dwelling), 2,500 of them were single-detached homes, the largest housing type in the city. The next largest category for living accommodations was apartments, with 990 such dwellings (in a building that has fewer than five storeys), while apartment in a flat or duplex was third at 710.

For all of the homes the city possesses, the average household size in Nelson is relatively small at 2.2 people per household. The reason is the large number of single person households (1,740) and two-person homes (1,715) compared to three-person households (725), four-person (545) and five or more (220).

Less than one third of Nelsonites aged 15 and over were married (3,320) according to the census, but a further 1,475 people declared they were living common law (never married, separated, divorced or widowed). That meant 4,770 people were not married and were not living common law in Nelson.

The average size of the census families (2,870) in Nelson was close to the average household size at 2.7, with the average number of children in census families with children at 1.6.

The average employment income in 2020 — or the average annual salary — among the working class in Nelson was $41,760, with a significant gap between what men earned ($48,040) and what women earned ($35,760).

However, 9.7 per cent of the population (1,080) claimed employment insurance benefits in 2020, with the number of COVID-19 emergency and recovery benefits recipients (aged 15 years and over) in private households in 2020 was 2,875 — just over one quarter of the working class population of Nelson claiming COVID cash.

In the after-tax income group in 2020, of the 8,980 people claiming income, only 175 people in Nelson earned over $125,000, and 125 of them were men. The same went for the $100,000 to $124,999 category where 125 of the 175 were men. In the after-tax income groups below $50,000 women outnumbered men in each income category.

The average total income of Nelson households in 2020 was $89,600, while the average after-tax income was $76,900. One-person households earned $46,280, with the median total income of two-or-more person households in 2020 at $113,100 ($96,600 after taxes).

One third of Nelson total household incomes averaged over $100,000 at 1,620 households (out of 4,950). The census also revealed that 11.6 per cent of Nelsonites live below the low-income measure.

Other census data:

- Total private dwellings: 5,314;

- Private dwellings occupied by usual residents: 4,948;

- Population density per square kilometre: 930.6;

- Land area in square kilometres: 11.93

Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily