There are many useful metrics to understand neighbourhood change, change in the income distribution, change in the share of population in low income and change in dwelling units, change in households who rent, or just overall population change and how that relates to zoning. All these tell us something about how neighbourhoods change, the metric we want to focus on in this post is the number of children under 15.
(Joint with Nathan Lauster and cross-posted at HomeFreeSociology) In our previous post we have outlined the broad problems with the recent UBCM report, in this post we return to one particular one, the comparison of dwelling growth to population growth for “BC Major Census Metropolitan Areas” (Figure 2 in the report), paying particular attention to Squamish as the largest outlier. To start out, let’s take a comprehensive look at how dwelling and population growth play out across BC’s CMAs and CAs.
Census data serves as the baseline for a lot of downstream data products, we like to think of it as a solid and authoritative data source. And the data from the Canadian census is indeed amazing. But counting people is hard, and the closer one looks the more one realizes little problems. All it takes to shake your faith in census data is spending 30 minutes browsing dissemination block or dissemination area data in a neighbourhood you know well.
With the first batch of data from the 2021 census we can start to answer some questions about how Vancouver has grown. One of these is how population growth relates to zoning as Gil Meslin reminded me today. It would be very useful to have a custom tabulation available for that, but it will still take a lot of time before 2021 custom tabulations will become available. In the meantime, we can get a pretty good idea how low-density zoning has or has not contributed to Vancouver’s population growth by following a line of analysis like we did back when the 2016 data came out.
Today we are getting the first release of the 2021 census data. For now, it’s just population, household, and dwelling counts. As well as Census Metropolitan Area and Census Tract boundaries. Census data is a snapshot in time, the reference day for the 2021 census is May 11, 2021. The rest of the data will follow over the coming year. CensusMapper The data is now available on CensusMapper for anyone to view, download, and map themselves.