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 5.1% increase in populationbetween 2006 and 2011. 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 8,177 (BC Stats population estimate, 2015).
Currently, most of this growth remains a result of relocations. The 2006 Census estimated that approximately 27.5% (2,075) of the Town's population located to Ladysmith within the five years before the census; the majority (77.5%) moved from within British Columbia.
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 2032, the Regional District will have a population of nearly 104,000. 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 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 7%. In comparison to larger municpalities suchas 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 78% in 1996, to 80.1% in 2001, and has remained steady at 83% since the 2006 Census. 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 by more than 100 individuals in the 15 - 24 year old category.
The Town is home to 2,325 families, 71% of whom are married-couple families. Ladysmith has a lower average persons in a family unit than the provincial average for both married-couple families and lone-parent families. The 2006 Census indicates that 64% of Ladysmith's population is married, and 15% are divorced or separated.
|Total Number of Families ||2,325 |
|Married-Couple Families ||1,640 |
|Common-Law Couple Families ||300 |
|Lone-Parent Families ||380 |
Ladysmith boasts a diverse population - according to the 2006 Census, some 940 (12%) of its residents are immigrants, 955 residents are first generation Canadians, and another 1,520 consider themselves to be second generation Canadians.
According to the 2006 Census, the median income of Ladysmith residents (persons 15 years and over with income) in 2005 was $25,498, slightly more than the provincial average of $24,867.
The median household income in Ladysmith in 2005 was $50,053, slightly less than the provincial average of $52,709. When compared to the rest of the province, a greater proportion of Ladysmith's total income is derived from pension than from employment, a reflection of the older median age.
For more detailed information about Ladysmith, see the Community Profile.