72 year-old Suzanne Sheffield is part of a growing contingent of West Coast seniors. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Seniors boom in Tofino and Ucluelet

Tofino’s average age jumped from 33.7 to 38.3 between 2011 and 2016.

Toddlers remain a big demographic in Tofino and Ucluelet, but both towns are celebrating a seniors boom.

Tofino’s average age jumped from 33.7 to 38.3 between 2011 and 2016, according to Statistics Canada’s latest census results, which focus on age characteristics.

Tofino’s 2016 population was counted at 1,930 with men outnumbering women 1,005 to 930.

The town’s fastest growing demographic is the 65 and older crowd, which rose from 135 in 2011 to 225 in 2016. The largest increase among that group were 65-69 year olds, rising from 70 to 105 with 70-74 year seeing a similar increase, rising from 25 to 55.

The youth population, 0-14 years old, grew from 240 in 2011 to 265 in 2016. While the number of 0-4 year olds dropped from 110 to 105, they still outnumber the 5-9 and 10-14 demographics, which rose from 80 to 90 and 50 to 65 respectively.

Ucluelet’s median age rose more modestly, bumping up from 38.1 to 39.6. Its population of 1,576 is comprised of 790 males and 785 females. The number of 0-4 year olds in Ucluelet rose from 95 to 110 and, like Tofino, that group outnumbers the 5-9 group, which rose from 65 to 95, and the 10-14 year olds, who saw their numbers increase from 65 to 70.

Ucluelet also saw a significant increase in its seniors population, with 205 locals over 65 years old counted in 2016, compared to 160 in 2011. Among that demographic, the 70-74 bracket saw the most growth, rising from 35 to 70.