Vernon’s senior population is getting close to being one out of every three residents.
The latest Canada census (2016) puts the number of those 65 and older in the city, at 29.8 percent (25.5% 65 and older; 4.3% 85 and over).
Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund says the number doesn’t surprise him, and says the city is ready for more retirees.
“I think all communities in the Okanagan are ready for more seniors to be retiring, whether they are coming from Vancouver, Alberta or from across the nation. I think Vernon offers a lot to the senior population.”
Mund says many projects in the works are geared towards seniors.
“We’ve had that in the queue since this council came in. Most of the projects we do have coming in are aimed at seniors.”
Mund says that includes the new residential care facility on 28th Avenue, and a new housing complex behind RONA.
The mayor says some retirees are coming here for the affordable lifestyle.
“They’re selling their homes for more than market value where they live now, and they find the Okanagan is a more affordable place to live, especially coming out of Vancouver.”
The census says Vernon’s average age is 46.
Enderby has the highest percentage of seniors among North Okanagan communities at 32.7 percent.
Seniors now make up almost 17 per cent of Canada’s population, and about 20 percent in BC.
There are 5.9 million Canadians aged 65 and older, a group that now outnumbers children 14 and under (5.8 million) for the first time in history.
People over the age of 100 made up the fastest-growing segment of Canada’s population; 8,230 people in 2016, a 41.3 per cent increase thanks to a gradual increase in life expectancy (80 years for men, 84 for women).
CLICK HERE for more census figures for Vernon.