November 20, 2008
Media Release

Fact sheets on immigration, language and diversity point to complex ethno-cultural mix

Just the Facts About Your Community show demographic shifts
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York in partnership with the York Region Social Data Strategy Consortium and the Community Reference Group has released the next series of Just the Facts About Your Community.  The fact sheets provide the stories behind the numbers regarding York Region’s population.
 
“This data will help employers, businesses, educators and community service providers to see the importance of adapting to our growing and diversifying population across the Region’s communities,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “We encourage our partners and stakeholders to consider how they can plan programs and services that are welcoming, accessible and adaptable for our residents of all ages and ethno-cultural backgrounds.”
 
Based on the most recent Census data collected by Statistics Canada, three new fact sheets in the Just the Facts About Your Community series detail York Region’s diversifying and changing population.  The topics of the new fact sheets are:
• Immigration and Mobility
• Ethnic Origin and Visible Minorities
• Languages of Residents Living in York Region
 
“These fact sheets provide information of the changing demographics in all nine local municipalities across York Region,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Brenda Hogg, Chair of the Region’s Community Services and Housing Committee.  “There are unique trends even within individual local municipalities, which tell us that a “one size fits all” approach cannot be used to effectively plan programs and services.”
 
These fact sheets were developed by York Region in partnership with the Community Social Data Strategy Consortium and the Community Reference Group.  Prior products include:
• Community Snapshots: Recent Immigrants Living in York Region;  detailed analysis released in 2006
• Just the Facts About Your Community;  the first four fact sheets released in November 2007 provided an analysis of the characteristics, opportunities and challenges of four segments of our communities: families, low income residents, seniors and youth
• What If York Region Were a Village of Just 100 People?;  this updated brochure was released in September 2008
 
In addition, two fact sheets will be released early in the new year, one on Employment and Income and the other on Housing and Shelter Costs.
 
“The fact sheets are quite popular,” said Town of Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen, co-chair of the Consortium.  “They are an effective way of raising awareness of socio-economic trends in York Region.”
 
“By responding more effectively to people’s needs we can help to ensure that York Region stays robust and versatile and our residents maintain a high quality of life,” said United Way of York Region CEO Daniele Zanotti, co-chair of the Consortium.
 
Just the Facts About Your Community are distributed across York Region to residents, local municipalities, community agencies, the business community and other stakeholders.  The fact sheets can be found on York Region’s website at www.york.ca/yrcsd
 
 
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Backgrounder

 
Just the Facts About Your Community: public sector and community partnership produces practical data
York Region consortium shares data to improve programs and services
 
NEWMARKET – The Regional Municipality of York is one of 15 communities across Canada that formed a consortium to participate in the Community Social Data Strategy.  An initiative of the Canadian Council on Social Development, it is designed to share data with community agencies and municipalities that could not otherwise afford this type of data.
 
The York Region Social Data Strategy Consortium is co-chaired by Town of Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen and United Way of York Region CEO Daniele Zanotti. 
The Consortium is comprised of representatives from:
 
The Consortium partnered with community groups to form the Community Reference Group.  The Community Reference Group consists of:
The purpose of the information is to help York Region’s municipalities, educators, community agencies and the business community to understand and assess community needs and improve services.
 
Based on 2001 and 2006 Census data collected by Statistics Canada, three new fact sheets in the Just the Facts About Your Community series explain the facts surrounding York Region’s diversifying and changing population.  The topics of the new fact sheets are:
• Immigration and Mobility
• Ethnic Origin and Visible Minorities
• Languages of Residents Living in York Region
 
Statistical Highlights
 
As the fastest-growing Census Division in Ontario and the third fastest in Canada, York Region’s population grew 22.4 per cent from 729,254 in 2001 to 892,712 in 2006.
There are now 380,525 foreign-born residents who make York Region their home.  In 2001, 40.0 per cent of York Region’s total population were immigrants.  By 2006, the immigrant population represented 43.0 per cent of York Region’s total population.
 
In York Region there are approximately 35,000 residents that have no knowledge of English or French.  This has increased 49.8 per cent since 2001.  Almost half of these residents are senior citizens aged 65 years and older.
 
Also, the 2006 Census identified 204 distinct ethnic groups in York Region.
 
Visible minorities are increasing in York Region
 
The number of visible minorities in York Region has increased by 113,825 or 52.7 per cent since 2001.  In 2006, there were 329,955 visible minorities living in York Region representing 37.2 per cent of the total population.
 
York Region had the third-largest proportion of visible minorities in Ontario and the fourth-largest in Canada after Peel (50.0 per cent), Toronto (46.9 per cent) and Vancouver (41.7 per cent).
 
In 2006, the top visible minorities in York Region were Chinese (138,575), South Asian (80,595), West Asian (20,860), Black (20,770) and Filipino (17,150).
 
In York Region, 15.6 per cent of all residents are Chinese.  This is the highest proportion of Chinese in all census divisions in Ontario.
 
Population figures
 
These statistics are based on 2001 and 2006 Census data collected by Statistics Canada when York Region’s population was 729,254 and 892,712, respectively.  As of the end of September 2008, York Region’s estimated population was 1,004,327 residents.
 
The provincial growth plan has forecast York Region's population to reach 1.5 million people by 2031.  Adding 500,000 more people in 23 years will be like adding the population of our two largest cities, Markham and Vaughan, combined.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Specialist, York Region
 Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1238, 416 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
 Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca


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