Community Profile: Niagara

Region's population growth rate increasing; General population slightly older

Between 2001 and 2006, the population of Niagara grew
bpeople touring on a boat jpgy 4.1%, which was slower than Ontario overall (6.6%).  Nevertheless, it is considerably higher than the 1.8% population increase Niagara experienced between 1996 and 2001.  Niagara's population is amongst the oldest in the province with 17.4% of residents aged 65 or older, and a median age of 42 years. One-third of all newcomers to Niagara during this period came from Asia and the Middle East. Nearly half of all new immigrants chose to settle in St. Catharines, which is the largest city in this region.  St. Catharines is also the most diverse area for mother tongue languages other than English or French. The Black community is the largest visible minority group in Niagara. The complete Niagara Community Profile includes population, labour force, education, income and language information.

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Community Highlights

  • While overall growth in Niagara was lower than the province, Grimsby and West Lincoln exceeded the provincial rate. Port Colborne and Thorold, meanwhile, hardly showed any growth at all.
  • Compared with Ontario, Niagara has a large proportion of residents who have high school as their highest level of education (30% vs. 25%). But the region has a lower proportion of residents with a university education (20%) compared to Ontario as a whole (31%).
  • Niagara has a small but rapidly growing Aboriginal population; this community grew by 34% between 2001 and 2006 (compared to the province's 28%). In real numbers, this is an increase of 1,745 people.
  • The proportion of low-income families was well below the provincial average, especially in West Lincoln and Pelham.
  • The unemployment rate in Niagara (6.1%) was slightly lower than the overall provincial rate (6.4%). However, there was significant variation in the region ranging from 7.4% in Port Colborne to only 3.5% in Lincoln.