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Ladysmith’s appeal as highly unique and a desirable community for people of all ages has been a major factor in the town’s ongoing growth. The population has increased consistently over the past couple of decades. The latest Census showed a 7.8% increase in population between 2011 and 2016. BC Stats Municipal Population Estimates show an increase of 24.3% between 2001 and 2011, making Ladysmith one of the fastest growing communities in the province. Currently, the Town's population estimate is 8,537(BC Stats population estimate, 2016).
Currently, most of this growth remains a result of relocations. The 2011 Census estimated that approximately 30.6% (2,035) of the Town's population located to Ladysmith within the five years before the census; most of this growth is a result of relocations within the province. The majority (74%) moved from within British Columbia, while 22% moved from elsewhere in Canada.
Continued growth, albeit at a more moderate pace, is expected for the entire Cowichan Valley Regional District throughout the next two decades. Population projections suggest that by 2035, the Regional District will have a population of over 100,000. Ladysmith is anticipated to grow by more than 35% during this time period.
Long-term population growth is expected to be driven by growth in Canadian and BC populations levels, aging of the population, and proximity to larger markets - drawing in regional commuters in search of lower home prices and lifestyle.
Ladysmith is an increasingly popular retirement destination. Statistics Canada 2011 census data show that Ladysmith’s median age has increased by over a decade within the last four census periods: from 37.5 years in 1996 to 48.3 years in 2011. Between 2001 and 2011, the Town’s population aged 55 plus grew by 70%. In comparison to larger municipalities such as Victoria and Vancouver and the province as a whole, Ladysmith has a much higher median age of population.
The proportion of the Town’s population over 15 years old increased from 80.1% in 2001, to 85.7% in 2011. In keeping with the aging population trend, the population that witnessed the highest growth in Ladysmith between 2006 and 2011 was over 45 years of age. However, Ladysmith also grew in the 15-24 year old age group category.
The Town is home to 2,460 families, representing an increase of 5.8% from 2006. Ladysmith’s average number of persons in private households is 2.3, lower than the provincial average of 2.5 persons in private households. The 2011 Census indicates that 72% of Ladysmith’s population is married, while 13% were common-law couples, and 16% were lone-parent families. Ladysmith’s proportion of married-couple families is much higher than the provincial average.
Ladysmith boasts a diverse population - according to the 2011 Census, some 1,065 (13.5%) of its residents are immigrants, 1,130 (14%) residents are first generation Canadians, and another 1,865 consider themselves to be second generation Canadians. 5% of Ladysmith residents are visible minorities.
According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the median income of Ladysmith residents (persons 15 years and over with income) in 2010 was $30,009, slightly more than the provincial average of $28,765.
The median family income in Ladysmith in 2010 was $71,755, slightly less than the provincial average of $75,979, but higher than both Victoria and the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
For more detailed information about Ladysmith, see the Community Profile.