This week, Statistics Canada will begin releasing census data starting with population and dwelling counts. The information will show whether Sault Ste. Marie’s population has grown, shrunk or essentially remained the same over the past five years.
The Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation will be providing its analysis and commentary throughout the year as figures are released. The organization will also be recalibrating, revising and incorporating this latest information into its databases and communications materials. As well, its staff will be engaging with community partners in economic development and employment to analyze the data.
Over the course of 2017, Statistics Canada will be releasing the following information and data:
February 8: Population & Dwelling Counts
May 3: Age & Sex, Type of Dwelling
May 10 Census of Agriculture
August 2: Families, Households & Marital Status, Language
September 13: Income
October 25: Immigration & Ethno-cultural Diversity, Housing, Aboriginal Peoples
November 29: Education, Labour, Journey to Work, Language of Work, Mobility & Migration
“This type of information is critical for economic development, municipal, regional and land planning, along with other public and private planning purposes,” said Tom Dodds, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “Our objective in assessing this information is to integrate it into our strategic priorities and help chart the course of economic development and growth in Sault Ste. Marie.”
Background: Population of Sault Ste. Marie
In 1996, the census population of Sault Ste. Marie was 80,054. Between 1996 and 2001, the city experienced an unprecedented 6.9% decline with a recorded census population of 74,566 in 2001. The community has been slow to recover since then.
The 2011 Statistics Canada census estimate for the municipality’s total population was 75,141, and the Sault Ste. Marie census agglomeration, which includes a number of surrounding townships and First Nations, was approximately 79,800.
City population projections by demographic forecasting companies like Manifold Data Mining – one of Canada’s leading data and analytical service providers and a specialist in consumer analytics and predictive modeling – show a population of 77,294 in 2016. This estimate takes into consideration other factors beyond the census, including building in a certain value for persons who choose not to participate in the census.
The Ontario Ministry of Finance uses a predictive model as part of its efforts to project economic growth, provincial tax revenue and expenditures. The ministry’s projections predict that the population of the Algoma District will shrink by 10% in the next 25 years. Based on historical data, this is not unreasonable or unprecedented as the districts population dropped from 131,841 in 1986 to 115,870 in 2011.