Population Changes 2011 - 2016

2011 2016 % change
Canada 33,476,688 33,476,688 5
Ontario 12,857,821 13,448,494 4.6
Elgin inc. St. Thomas 87,461 88,978 1.7
Bayham 6,989 7,396 5.8
Malahide 9,146 9,292 1.6
Aylmer 7,151 7,492 4.8
Central Elgin 12,293 12,607 2.6
St. Thomas 36,110 37,905 5
Southwold 4,494 4,421 -1.6
Dutton/ Dunwich 3,876 3,866 1.4
West Elgin 5,349 5,157 -3.6
The age pyramids of Elgin County show populations that are decreasing with, birth rates lower in recent years than in previous; this is particularly evident in Dutton/Dunwich, Southwold, Central Elgin and West Elgin. This is supported with the 2011 Census Statistics as seen in the table below, Southwold and West Elgin both showed population declines, Central Elgin and Dutton/Dunwich showed minimal growth while Bayham, Malahide, and St. Thomas showed significant Growth. Only Aylmer has an age pyramid with an increasing birthrate, although their birth rates vary greatly from year to year. One important characteristic that can be seen across Elgin, including St. Thomas, is the large out-migration of the population from the mid 20’s to mid 30’s. The absence of this age group is alarming because of the need to enforce the economically active population. If the population in the age range do not return, and if the next generations reach this age also leave the area, there will be large deficits in the workforce and tax base. Finally, it is also important to mention that Bayham has a very young population with the oldest member of the community only 91 years of age. This can indicate that the community is just establishing, or that the life expectancy in this region is lower than the other municipalities across the County.
Median Age
Canada 39.5
Ontario 39
Elgin + St. Thomas 38.1
Bayham 34.7
Malahide 34.1
Aylmer 38.2
Central Elgin 42.5
St. Thomas 38.8
Southwold 39.9
Dutton/Dunwich 40
West Elgin 42.9
Compared to Canada and Ontario, Elgin County in general is considered young. However, Central Elgin, Dutton/ Dunwich and West Elgin havehigher median ages, a result of an increase in life expectancy and low birthrates Bayham and Malahide have a significantly younger median age than Canada and Ontario.  A young median age is desired because it indicates a young and vital workforce and women at child bearing age, naturally increasing the population. The polarity seen between the East and West in terms of median age reveals difference in the compositions of the populations.
The general health of an area is, in part, measured by the life expectancy.  This statistics predicts the life span of individuals who are born that year and is calculated based on the health of the population.  The Elgin-St. Thomas Health Unit provided data for The Health Profile in October 2011.  The life expectancy for St. Thomas-Elgin is 78.9, lower than Ontario and Canada.  Furthermore, the life expectancy of someone in 2011 aged 65 is 18.7 years, or to the age of 83.7 for St. Thomas, lower than Ontario and Canada, again lower. The younger life expectancy indicates that the people living in Elgin County are less healthy than the Canadian population in general.  The change in life expectancy from birth and at age 65 demonstrates the affect of unhealthy life styles across the Country.
Life Expectancy St. Thomas-Elgin Ontario Canada
At birth 78.9 81 80.7
At Age 65 18.7 20.3 20.2
Expected lifespan 83.7 85.3 85.2
Change in life expectancy 4.8 4.3 4.5
Education is a social statistic that helps identify the types of industry that can exist and thrive within a community.  Currently only Central Elgin has higher levels of education than Canada and Ontario , while Bayham has over 20% higher rates of population with no formal education (which includes high school), with rates in Aylmer and Malahide also very high.   The geographical differences of educational attainment can be seen in the map.  There is a strong tendency to education in the center of the County with lower education rates on the outside municipalities. However, education attainment statistics are considered for populations over the age of 15, while high school is completed at the age of 17 and 18.  This means that areas with small or large populations between the ages of 15-18 will have numbers that do not acurately reflect the actual education rates. The figure shows the types of education the educated population holds, it is important to note that the County on average have 7% higher rates of having only a high school degree at 40.8%, 5% higher rates for obtaining college certificates or apprenticeships at 43.6%, and rates 15% lower for obtaining a university degree at 15.6%. However, education attainment statistics are considered for populations over the age of 15, while high school is completed at the age of 17 and 18.  This means that areas with small, or large populations between the age of 15-18 will have numbers that do not wholly reflect the actual education rates.
When considering housing and housing standard in a region, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) allocate acceptable housing standards.  Acceptable housing is defined as housing that is adequate in condition and does not require major repairs, suitable in size for the occupants and affordable.  Housing that does not meet at least one of these standards is not considered acceptable. Adequate Conditions Housing that requires major repairs inhibits the livelihood of the occupants.  Adequate housing is based on the resident’s opinion of need for major repairs.  The housing repairs in Elgin County is similar to the average in Canada, however it should be mentioned that West Elgin has over 2% more houses that require major repairs, and Malahide is reporting 2.5% less houses in need of major repairs than the Canadian average. Suitable Size Suitable housing is housing that has enough bedrooms for the size and make-up of resident households, according to National Occupancy Standard (NOS) requirements. Enough bedrooms based on NOS requirements means one bedroom for each cohabiting adult couple; unattached household member 18 years of age and over; same-sex pair of children under age 18; and additional boy or girl in the family, unless there are two opposite sex children under 5 years of age, in which case they are expected to share a bedroom. A household of one individual can occupy a bachelor unit (i.e. a unit with no bedroom).  In general Elgin County is reporting that there are no occupancy issues, apart from ten instances in which four people are living in a one bedroom dwelling, and three people are living in a one room dwelling. This statistic is considered under reported because many large families living in housing too small for them fear that they will be evicted if they report lack of space. Housing Affordability In general the housing across Elgin County was considered relatively affordable with 78% of the population living in dwellings that cost less than 30% of their before taxable income. Although more recently, St. Thomas has experienced a steady increase in the housing market. In May 2019 the average home price in Elgin County was $363,580 , up 25.5% over last May. West Elgin is the only municipality that has higher prevalence than Canada of housing above the 30% income level; however, this figure is still below the Ontario average.  It would be ideal for all housing to fall into the affordable housing level by diversifying the available housing in the region to help accommodate residents across the economic scale. The figure shows the geographical distribution of the percent of housing costing over 30% of income. Residential Rates Along with understanding the amount of income St. Thomas and Elgin County residents are spending on housing, it is important to understand the distribution of property costs.  In the County, average residential prices were $$345,783 with varied tax rates across the County. Aylmer has the highest rate of 1.60% and Southwold has the lowest rate 1.12%.  These rates are important to consider affordability of a home.
  • 19.4% of families are lone-parent families
  • 82% of the lone parents are female
  • The average number of persons in a lone parent family is 2.5
  • Or on average in 10 single parent households there will be 15 children.
    • The average number of persons in a married couple family is 3.1 (2.8 for common law couples)
    • in 10 two parent household there will be 11 children
    • In 10 common law households there will be 8 children