March 26, 2009
Media Release

Fact sheets point to rising low-income family numbers, shifting unemployment rates and the need for a housing strategy

Backgrounder at bottom of page
 
Just the Facts About Your Community aims to raise awareness of socio-economic issues
NEWMARKET …quot; The Regional Municipality of York in partnership with the York Region Social Data Strategy Consortium and the Community Reference Group has released two more fact sheets in the series Just the Facts About Your Community.  Based on 2001 and 2006 census data, the fact sheets provide the stories behind the numbers regarding York Region’s population.
 
“This information enables us to understand and asses the changing demographic trends of our Region’s communities,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “With improved data, all our partners and stakeholders can provide more effective services and support to our residents.”
 
The topics of the new fact sheets are:
• Employment and Income
This fact sheet concludes that York Region has a relatively strong economy, however with the rising number of low-income residents and shifting unemployment rates many are having difficulty in providing for affordable housing.
 
• Housing and Shelter Costs
This fact sheet explains the growing diversity of families in the Region and the need for a diverse range of affordable housing choices.
 
“These fact sheets provide a snapshot of social and economic trends that are effecting our employment, family income and housing numbers in all nine of the local municipalities across York Region,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Brenda Hogg, Chair of the Region’s Community Services and Housing Committee.  “With rising numbers of low-income residents and shifting unemployment rates, we need to invest more in both community and human services.”
 
The new fact sheets are part of a series that includes:
• An update of What If York Region Were a Village of Just 100 People?, released in September 2008
• The series Just the Facts About Your Community:
o The first four fact sheets released in November 2007 provided an analysis of the
socio-economic characteristics of four segments of our communities: families, low-income residents, seniors and youth
o The three fact sheets released in November 2008 focused on immigration and mobility, ethnic origins and visible minorities and the languages of residents living in York Region
• Community Snapshots: Recent Immigrants Living in York Region released in 2006
 
“These fact sheets show how much we are continuing to evolve as a community,” said Town of Newmarket Mayor Tony Van Bynen, co-chair of the York Region Social Data Strategy Consortium.  “With more information, our public and private sector partners can make better-informed decisions and provide improved services to York Region residents.”
 
“With accurate information, social service agencies are better equipped to help residents find and keep employment, train for better jobs, and participate, socially and economically, in the community,” said United Way of York Region CEO Daniele Zanotti, co-chair of the York Region Social Data Strategy Consortium.
 
Just the Facts About Your Community is 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 or a synopsis can be found on the accompanying backgrounder.
 
 For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact Rohit Jajoo, Corporate Communications, York Region
                                       Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1207 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
                                       Email: Rohit.Jajoo@york.ca
 
Backgrounder
Just the Facts About Your Community:
Highlights of two new fact sheets on employment and shelter

Public sector consortium produces useful demographic information
NEWMARKET …quot; The Regional Municipality of York in partnership with the York Region Social Data Strategy Consortium and the Community Reference Group has produced two new fact sheets based on 2001 and 2006 Census data.
 
The two new fact sheets in the Just the Facts About Your Community detail York Region’s diversifying and changing population.  The topics of the fact sheets are Employment and Income and Housing and Shelter Costs.
 
Employment and Income Highlights
 
As of 2006, York Region’s labour force was 500,060 making it the third largest labour force in Ontario.  Of those residents who are working, 78 per cent worked full-time and 22 per cent worked part-time.
 
York Region’s unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent in 2006, the second lowest in the GTA after Halton Region. However, between 2001 and 2006 the unemployment rate increased in all nine local municipalities.
 
In 2006, there were 238,640 families living in York Region.  The median family income was $89,099.  This number dropped by three per cent between 2001 and 2006, the third-highest proportionate decrease in Ontario.
 
York Region has also seen an increase in both high-income households and low-income households.   In 2006, about 13 per cent of residents lived in low income households, a 55 per cent increase since 2001.
 
In 2006, almost 15 per cent or 32,500 of York Region’s children under the age of 18 lived in low-income households, the third-highest proportion after Toronto and Peel Region.
 
Housing and Shelter Costs Highlights
 
In York Region, there were 275,680 households in York Region, representing a 24 per cent increase between 2001 and 2006. Of these, 80 per cent were one-family households, five per cent multiple family households and 14 per cent were non-family households (living alone or sharing a house but not as a family).
 
In 2006, single detached homes made up 68 per cent of the total dwellings in York Region followed by six per cent of semi-detached units, 10 per cent of row house units and 16 per cent of apartment units.
 
In York Region, 88 per cent of the total dwellings in 2006 were owned, up two per cent from 2001.  In addition, 58 per cent of single detached houses were owned with mortgages.
 
In 2006, only 12 per cent of the total dwellings were rented. This was the lowest in the GTA. The median monthly payment was $957, the third highest in the GTA after Peel ($974) and Halton Region ($970).
 
In 2006, 27 per cent of the 242,945 owned households in York Region spent 30 per cent or more of their household income on housing costs.
 
Population figures
 
These statistics are based on data collected by Statistics Canada when York Region’s population was 729,254 (in 2001) and 892,712 (in 2006).  As of the end of December 2008, York Region’s estimated population was to be more than 1,011,000 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 communities, the Town of Markham and the City of Vaughan, combined.
 
Background
 
The Regional Municipality of York is one of 16 communities across Canada that formed a consortium to participate in the Community Social Data Strategy, an initiative of the Canadian Council on Social Development to share data with community agencies and municipalities.
 
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 Regional Municipality of York (lead Consortium member)
• United Way of York Region
• York Catholic District School Board
• York Region District School Board
• York Regional Police
 
The Consortium partnered with community groups to form the Community Reference Group.  The Community Reference Group consists of:
• The Consortium members
• Aurora Chamber of Commerce
• Big Brothers/Big Sisters York Region
• Catholic Community Services of York Region
• Central Local Health Integration Network
• Town of Markham Planning and Urban Design Development
• Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce
• Vaughan Chamber of Commerce
• York South Simcoe Training and Adjustment Board
 
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.
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact Rohit Jajoo, Corporate Communications, York Region
                                       Phone: 905 830-4444 Ext. 1207 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
                                       Email: Rohit.Jajoo@york.ca

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