By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: June 2, 2012
Statistics Canada has made official what every Squamish resident would know by simply walking down the street in downtown Squamish.
This is a town brimming with young families and kids.
After Surrey, Squamish had the highest proportional increase in number of children in the entire South Coastal region.
In the Census Agglomeration area of Squamish (which comprises reserves and the muncipality), increase in the number of young children was significant, close to 40 per cent.
It was higher than what was observed in Canada as a whole (11 per cent), and in BC (9 per cent), said France-Pascale Ménard, a demographic analysis expert at Stats Canada.
Ménard said the increase was observed across Canada, in very province and territory, due to fertility rates going up in most provinces and territories in the last 5 years, and to an increase in the number of women in their prime childbearing age (20 to 34).
There are now 3,320 children under the age of 14 in Squamish, according to new data on age and sex released by Stats Canada.
In the Lower Mainland region, Abbotsford-Mission and Squamish are now home to the highest proportion of children 14 and under, almost 20 per cent of Squamish population.
Proximity to Vancouver and Whistler, relative affordable housing compared to the city, and scenic, small-town feel is attracting young families to town.
When Paul Fripp got a job offer as a chartered accountant with a local firm, he didn’t think twice about moving to Squamish.
The Fripps, wife Susan Fripp and eleven weeks old Hayden, are renting a condo in downtown Squamish, and are doing their research on buying a home in Squamish.
“Downtown Squamish is so awesome,” Susan said, as the couple took a break from their walk in Stan Clarke Park on Second Ave.
Susan said having a young child factored in their equation of moving to a place like Squamish.
The decision was made easier by its proximity to Vancouver, she added.
“If the city wasn’t so close, we might not have moved to Squamish.”
Being a baby boom town also maked is a young town. The median age in Squamish is 36.8.
The biggest age demographic is 35 to 39 years.
There were 1,885 people in Squamish in that age range, followed by 1,585 in the age bracket of 30-34. The Squamish population was also younger than that of Canada, than B.C., and its other regions.
On the other side of the equation, there were only 300 people between the age of 75 and 79.
Between the age of 80 and 84, there were only 190 people.
The overall population of Squamish is 17,160, which is a 14 per cent increase from the 2006 census.
Men outnumber women in Squamish by 275.