MAPLETON – According to recent census-based statistics, this township is ahead of the province in population increase, household income and employment.
The non-profit organization, Wellington-Waterloo Community Futures Development Corporation (WWCF), came to council May 28 to discuss their services and provide an update on the township’s statistics.
From 2011 to 2016, Mapleton’s population increased by five per cent, according to the recent Statistics Canada 2016 Census. The provincial increase was 3%.
“We are situated in kind of an awesome spot because we are so close to the GTA,” WWCF economic developer officer Jenna Morris said.
WWCF is funded by the Federal Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev) to provide economic development support to businesses and residents of rural areas in Wellington County and Waterloo.
According to Morris and WWCF general manager Rick Whittaker the WWCF advanced 25 loans in the 2018/2019 year and the average value of a loan was $96,652.
The organization relies on recent statistics of the different areas in its general operation, Morris explained.
“We like to be informed about this stuff so we can focus on community economic development projects,” she said.
Age and education
– 27.6% of Mapleton’s population is aged 15 years and younger, while the average in the WWCF total coverage area is 19%;
– 10% of the population is over the age 65; and
– 49.7% of the population in Mapleton has less than a high school graduate certificate.
Morris told council that Mapleton has a high percentage of working age residents at 62.1%, just below the province at 67.4%.
Mapleton also has a lower percentage of unemployment and low income families than the province:
– 2.6% of the township’s population is unemployed;
– 25.9% of Mapleton’s population is self-employed compared to 18% in the rest of the coverage area; and
– 12.8% Mapleton’s population is low income families.
Mapleton has a higher average household income than the province. The average in Mapleton is $103,522 while the provincial average is $97,856 and the WWCF’s coverage area average is $117,000.
Morris said Mapleton’s high proportion of farmers and Mennonites influenced the statistics.
Whittaker told council that overall the populations of the Wellington-Waterloo area are doing well financially.
“Our Waterloo Wellington area is in a nice bubble and things are going very well here,” he said.
“If you go north and to the west, the population is older and the household income is less and the businesses are having a hard time staying in business there so that is kind of the trend. We are sitting in a very nice area and we are very lucky to be in this area,” said Whittaker.
While the WWCF has helped some local businesses the organization does not typically loan money to farms. Instead, the WWCF can offer business advice, especially for succession planning.
“We don’t help with the financial side of any farms because our lending limits are lower, but we do provide a lot of business advice so that we can try to get a structure that works for the transition of a farm to a son or daughter,” he said.