District of Sparwood gateway banner. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

District of Sparwood gateway banner. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Sparwood stays young with working families

Sparwood is home to more young people on average than the rest of Canada, and also more men

Sparwood is significantly younger, and has more men than the rest of Canada according to census data released by Statistics Canada.

2021 census numbers show that the average Sparwoodian is a spry 38.9 years old, compared to the average Canadian at 41.9.

Not only is that a full three years younger, but the community is getting even younger over the years – in 2016 the average age was 39.2.

That could be because of the large share of locals aged between 0-14 years, who account for 20 percent of the district’s population. Across Canada, that share is only 16.3 percent.

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks said it had a lot to do with the next generation of families that depend on the mines.

“Older miners are retiring out, and younger workers are coming in and bringing young families with them,” he said.

“That’s a good thing – we’re staying young. It gives us a healthy young population and keeps the schools full.”

Reflecting it’s status as a working community, Sparwood has a larger share of ‘working age’ Canadians between 15-64, at 65.9 percent, and a much lower share of residents over 65, at 14.1 percent.

The gender balance in Sparwood skews towards men, with 51.63 percent of the community being male, compared to 49.27 percent of all of Canada.

Locally, that means there’s 135 more men than women in Sparwood.

“(Mining) has in the past been male-dominated,” said Wilks, adding that that appeared to be changing, with Teck focusing a lot of energy on making the industry more inclusive overall.

Wilks said that overall as mayor, he was happy to see Sparwood growing and staying young. “I hope we can continue to have a diverse community going forward.”

Read the full statistical data at the Statistics Canada website at statcan.gc.ca.

READ MORE: Fernie holds onto its youth in 2021

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