What the Census says about Burlington: more seniors, more young adults living at home, slow growth but exceeds targets

Burlington’s household size remains steady, with more young adults living at home, and a growing number of seniors, according to Census data released this Spring and analysed by the Burlington Economic Development Corporation.

Burlington remains family oriented with an average household size of 2.9 people and 60.7% of respondents identifying as being married or common-law. Oakville and Milton have slightly larger family sizes, at 3.2 people per household in Oakville, and in 3.3 in Milton. This is above the national average of 2.9.

Milton has seen the highest growth in family size, 3.12% percent in the period 2011 – 2016. Burlington and Oakville’s family size remains unchanged over this period. Overall, family size in Ontario has gone down.

Read more: Burlington 2016 Census Update – Household Size and Marriages

Family Composition:

Some of this household size is due to young adults still living with their parents, rather than school-aged children. The Hamilton Census Metropolitan Area (which Burlington is a part of) along with Toronto and Oshawa have the highest number of young adults (aged 20-34) living their parents. In the Hamilton CMA, 44.5% of young adults lived with their parents, compared to a national average for all CMAs of 36.2%.
A link below to more detailed analysis of this trend is here:

Aging Population:

Burlington’s population is aging with a new average age of 42.3 compared to the region’s 39.4 average.  In addition, growth in the 65+ age group is 19.3% of the population, higher than the regional, provincial and national ratios of 14.9%, 16.7% and 16.9% of population respectively.

Population Counts:

Burlington’s population growth is also slowing, although population counts are higher than predicted for the time period leading up to 2031.
While growth is also slowing in Ontario and Canada, Burlington has dipped below the provincial and national average in population growth for the first time in 2016, dropping to an annualized growth rate of 0.86% versus the national growth rate of 1% and provincial growth rate of 0.92%.
However, in absolute numbers, Burlington’s population has grown to 183,314 2016, ahead of projections of 175,438 (see below). Thus we will easily meet the estimated growth of 186,000 by 2031, under Provincial Places to Grow legislation, and will likely surpass that number given where we are currently, plus approved developments already on the books (for example, almost 1000 units alone currently under construction beside the Burlington GO station).
Halton Region’s Best Planning Estimates – 2011, which are used to plan infrastructure, growth and development charges, estimated Burlington’s population at 175,438 by 2016. The estimates are being updated to assist the Region in reaching growth targets of 780,000 people and 390,000 jobs by 2031 among all four municipalities: Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills.
Special thanks to the Burlington Economic Development Corporation for analysing the data and providing these summaries.
The next release of Census Data will be September 13th which will include income.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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  1. 35 + years in Burlington i once loved this city but now I can not move away fast enough . I remember being able to drive across town in under 45 min now its just hideous tall buildings millions of the same ugly townhouse and grid lock i will miss the memories but not what it has become.

  2. Right Burlington keeps growing but the Halton district school board closes not one but two high schools in Burlington does this make any sense to anybody??!!! Not impress I’m spitting venom right now as a very disappointed Burlington citizen and to see that there was no partnership between the school board and the city makes no sense to me at all

    • Totally agree with you Cheryl. The board starved both Bateman and Pearson’s enrolment then blamed it on population decline. That’s why we’re still fighting and won’t give up until it’s overturned.

    • Denise Davy so true. We are in this until the bitter end we need to make the school board realize what a colossal mistake this was in closing these two high schools this has destroyed Burlington and I only wish , Marianne Meed Ward that the city will jump in here to save Burlington this has destroyed our Burlington

    • The development at Walkers and Dundas will see many new families moving to Burlington. There won’t be enough room at MMR for them all. If they changed the boundaries, they could fill Pearson and Bateman and solve the huge overcapacity problem at Hayden.

    • Denise Davy right again!!! The solution was to change boundaries THATS ALL but the school board and elected trustees jumped to closing two high schools in Burlington DESTROYING BURLINGTON. And then the government decides on June 27,2017 that the PARC process is flawed but won’t reverse the decision 21dats earlier I repeat 21 days earlier in Burlington Really!!! That is such a shame remember that next year when we vote for our new government and trustees we need and deserve people who will bring the voice of their communities to the table that is why they got elected right ???

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