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Community Profiles

Introduction

This Community Profile model has been created to help users gain a better understanding of the possible future housing needs of the aging population in Atlantic Canada.

The starting point is the geographic location defined by the first three (3) designators of a postal code, referred to as Forward Sortation Area (FSA); the smallest geographic unit used by Census Canada and Statistics Canada to collect and report population data. Atlantic Canada has 222 postal FSAs, distributed as follows:

Newfoundland and Labrador (A) 33
Nova Scotia (B) 73
Prince Edward Island (C) 7
New Brunswick (E) 109

Postal code details and maps can be viewed on the Canada Post website www.canadapost.ca or the maps for each province can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

Each FSA is designed to include roughly 10,000 households. The largest FSA in Atlantic Canada (A0A) has a population of 57,949 and the smallest FSA (B2J), has a population of 144. These illustrate the wide variation in the actual population size of postal code areas.

The choices an individual makes about living arrangements as they age are influenced by many factors. Research has told us that 75% of our aging population would like to age in place – in their own home. Other research tells us that as we age we are likely to move three times after age 65.

Three factors are considered to be most important in determining our living accommodation choices as we age; our health, our wealth, and, the distances to our children. This model uses two of these, health and wealth, as likely predictors of housing need. The underlying assumption is that the healthier and wealthier you are, the greater number of possible housing options you may consider.

The implications for community planning are that those in a healthier state, with access to moderate wealth will find housing solutions along the continuum from their own home, to seniors’ apartments, condominiums, assisted living complexes. Those in a less healthy state, with limited wealth resources will rely on public or subsidized housing solutions.

By combining the results of your queries of several FSAs that make up a community or region, you can build a picture of the likely needs and the individual’s ability to pay for housing and care requirements.

Statistics Canada information is used with permission of Statistics Canada. Users are forbidden to copy the data and disseminate them, in an original or modified form, for commercial purposes, without the expressed permission of Statistics Canada. Information on the availability of the wide range of data from Statistics Canada can be obtained from Statistics Canada's Regional Offices, its World Wide Web site at http://www.statcan.ca and its toll-free access number 1-800-263-1136.

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