The District of Elkford office. File Photo. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

The District of Elkford office. File Photo. (Joshua Fischlin/The Free Press)

‘It’s a growing community’: Young families drive Elkford population growth

Population has grown by 250 since 2016, youngest age bracket makes up 20.9 per cent

The 2021 census data for Elkford shows a growing population with the share of young people in town outweighing the elderly.

In the Elkford municipal region in 2021, 2,749 people were counted, and in 2016, 2,499 people were counted.

The population percentage change was 10 per cent, with another 250 people recorded as living in the region.

Following a similar trend from 2016 (though with slight variations), the amount of young people in 2021 represented a greater share of the total population than the amount of elderly people.

In 2021, there were 575 people in the 0 to 14 age bracket, representing 20.9 per cent of the population. There were 335 people age 65 and older, representing 12.2 per cent of the total. The 15 to 64 age bracket had 1,840 people, 66.9 per cent of the total. Those age 85 and over were at 0.4 per cent.

To contrast, in 2016, 0 to 14 was 21.6 per cent of the total, 65 and older was 9.2 per cent, and 15 to 64 was 69 per cent.

As for the average age in town in 2021, the number was sitting at 38. This is slightly higher than in 2016, when the average was 37.4. So, the population overall has aged by a smidge. This is lower than the Canadian average, which is 41.9 years in 2021.

Commenting on the census numbers, Elkford Mayor Dean McKerracher said: “Since the census was taken, which wasn’t very long ago, we’ve turned over a tremendous amount of new families coming to town with young, young kids.”

He added that around 40 kids were registered for kindergarten, “which is huge.”

“Lots of brand new families coming in, which is very exciting. The old timers are gradually leaving us, whether by choice or not,” McKerracher said.

Gender-wise, Elkford has 185 more men than women, the former totalling at 1465, the latter at 1280.

As for housing, the total private dwellings in town was 1602, 1159 of which were recorded by the census to be occupied by usual residents. The number of persons in private households was 2745.

The most popular type of home in Elkford was a single-detached house, with 630 people living in those. The second most popular was a movable dwelling, with 235 people, and following close behind were apartment buildings with less than five storeys, at 220 people. The average household size was 2.4 people.

McKerracher said that some “development interests” would be coming to Elkford in the coming weeks, so “hopefully that will stir up a little more residential, we hope.”

He also pointed to a small housing committee between Teck and the District of Elkford, and said he’s “hoping that some good stuff will come out of that.”

“Elkford’s a place that grows on you. Once you’re there, you’re there,” he said.

“I think it’s a growing community, and there’s going to be more.”

READ MORE: Fernie holds onto its youth in 2021

READ MORE: Upcoming census release to show how country is aging, detail gender for first time


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josh.fischlin@thefreepress.ca

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Census