MORRISBURG – South Dundas’ population is getting older and at a faster rate than in previous census years. Census data released by Statistics Canada shows double-digit increases in residents age 55-64 and 65-plus between 2016 and 2021. During the same time, there were fewer youth under the age of 10 living in the municipality.
In the last five years, there was an 11 per cent increase in the 65-plus population, and a 19 per cent increase in those 55-64.
Combined, the two age groups now make up 45 per cent of South Dundas’ 11,045 residents in 2021.
Decreases in youth population include 14 per cent fewer youth under 10 years old and 5.6 per cent fewer teens, 15-19.
Bucking the trend of decreases is a 22.8 per cent increase in teens/pre-teens 10-14 years old. Youth under 15 years old account for 14.9 per cent of South Dundas’ population.
The reduction in youth under 10 means fewer resources are required.
There is also a middling-out of residents age 19-55 in the municipality.
In 2021, this age group made up 35.4 per cent of the population compared to 38.8 per cent five years ago. The decline across the last three census reports (2011, 2016, 2021) point to a four per cent average drop. That trend has implications for the employment sector.
Housing costs and availability may be contributing to the population shift in South Dundas.
Housing stock increased by a net 95 units – or two per cent – in five years. This is far below the 6.4 per cent national trend in net new housing units. The municipality’s population also grew by 1.9 per cent which means housing starts are not keeping pace with net migration. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, property prices have doubled in the last five years in South Dundas.
The municipality is following the national trend of more people living alone, either by circumstance or by choice.
In the last five years there was a 7.1 per cent increase in single-person households, in line with the national average. There were 1,200 single-person households in South Dundas in 2021. The only other large-scale increase in households was an 11 per cent increase in families of five-or-more people. This does not include multi-generational homes.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader