As fellow Bramptonians, the recently released 2016 Statistics Canada Census data confirms what we already know; Brampton is a young and diverse city that is showing strong signs of growth, and is an attractive place for business and government investment.
Brampton’s growth continues to be driven by immigration, as over 52 per cent (308,790 people) of its population was born outside of Canada, a two per cent increase from the 2011 Census. Residents in the city originate from 234 distinct ethnic backgrounds, up from 209 reported ethnic backgrounds in 2011. Visible minorities form 73.3 per cent of the population.
“Brampton’s growth, youth and diversity is really remarkable – making our city truly unique in Canada. Brampton is an exciting and dynamic place to live and work,” says Mayor Linda Jeffrey, in a press release. “People from around the world are choosing to live here. Business and all levels of government are recognizing that growth through targeted investment in our city.”
Brampton is in a competitive position relative to surrounding municipalities in the GTA where growth is slowing.
• February’s 2016 Census release on population showed almost 40 people choose to move to Brampton every day.
• Brampton’s growth rate is double that of the Region of Peel’s, three times greater than Ontario’s, and two-and-a-half times greater than Canada’s growth rate.
• With a net increase of almost 70,000 people since the 2011 census, Brampton is the second fastest growing community of Canada’s largest 25 cities.
• August’s language data release highlighted Brampton’s diversity, as the number of languages spoken in Brampton rose to 115 from the 89 reported in the 2011 census.
• May’s census release on age showed that Brampton’s continues to rank among the youngest large cities in Canada:
• Brampton has an average age of 36.5, compared to an average age of 39.7 for the Greater Toronto Area, 41.0 for the province, and a national average age of 41.0.
News of a young and growing population bodes well for Brampton. It comes fresh on the heels of news regarding the establishment of a new university, built by a Ryerson University and Sheridan College partnership, in downtown Brampton. The new university will offer courses in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) to foster innovation and skills development needed for tomorrow’s workforce.
The City has committed, in principle, to invest up to $150M for the new post-secondary facility and a joint-use community space to support the university. The investment is subject to a final review after Ryerson tables its final proposal before the end of this year.
What is absolutely clear in the latest Census is that our city has outgrown its small town suburban stereotype. Understanding demographic trends helps the City plan investments and development to compete on a global stage. However, governments must also take this as a signal to lead by actively engaging our youth and the creativity and skills that people from diverse backgrounds bring to our city.
Forecasts show that Brampton’s population will reach 700,000 before 2028.
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