Erin’s population has rebounded after a drop reported five years ago, growing by 6.2 per cent to 11,439, according to figures released last week by Statistics Canada.
The growth rate is higher than the provincial average of 4.6 per cent and the national average of 5 per cent. The 2016 census counted 13.5 million people in Ontario and 35.2 million in Canada.
Initial figures show there were 4,108 private dwellings occupied in Erin, an increase of 9.8% from 2011.
When the 2011 census reported Erin with 10,770 residents, a decline of 378 (-3.4%) since 2006, it was the first population drop for village and township since the Great Depression.
More detailed statistics have not been released yet, but the trend in Erin has been a low number of seniors and families with young children, partly due to high real estate prices and relatively few new homes being constructed.
While the census has Erin’s 2016 population at 11,439, the actual number of people living in the Town is probably higher. Recently, the County’s estimate for Erin’s population has been 12,365.
Some people are normally missed in the census. Statistics Canada has not yet published an estimate of the “undercount” for 2016, but for the 2011 census it was 4.1 per cent.
Wellington County is responsible for population forecasts, as part of the Province’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. After adding the undercount, the County and Province use a Census Adjusted Population for their forecasts.
Since census statistics only come out every five years, the County tries to keep a more accurate estimate of the number of residents. In addition to the undercount, they have an in-house tracking system that includes building permit data to estimate the number of occupied dwellings.
“A census release does not typically result in changes to an existing forecast,” said Mark Paoli, Manager of Policy Planning for Wellington County. “It is used as an input to the next forecast update, once all the information is released and our economists Watson Associates have reviewed and analysed all of the new data.”
The newly-published census population for all of Wellington County is 90,932, up 6.9%, while the County’s recent estimate of its own population is 95,805.
As part of the StatsCan website, the Focus on Geography feature compares Erin’s population growth to that of other municipalities.
Caledon’s published population has grown by 11.8% to 66,502. Orangeville is up 3.3% to 28,900, East Garafraxa down .6% to 2,579, Guelph/Eramosa up 3.8% to 12,854, Centre Wellington up 5.6% to 28,191, Halton Hills up 3.6% to 61,161 and Shelburne up 39% to 8,126.