The Mature Action Committee (MAC) would like to address certain myths they experience regularly in the Silver Linings column. This week's myth busting column disperses the myth that there aren't any seniors in Whistler.
ôSo, where are the seniors?ö
It's a common refrain heard by many seniors living in Whistler. To some, it may appear that the majority of people living in Whistler are 35 years old and under and live only to ski or board.
The 2011 Statistic Canada Census profile presents a very different picture.
In 2011, the total population of Whistler was 9,824. Of that total, 1,370 individuals were ages 55 though 85 plus. That's 13.9 per cent, or more than one in ten Whistlerites.
Dividing up the senior demographics further, there were 1,135 individuals between ages 55 and 69. These active, committed and well-connected members are the glue that keeps this town running smoothly, by working, volunteering or just enjoying the occasional day on the slopes or in the bike park.
The 235 locals aged 70 and up, remain active both physically and in the community. They'll beat you to the cash at the grocery store any day if they're off to the mountain, going to a community event or heading to a meeting. Unless of course they meet up with some friends at the deli counter and hang for an extended chat.
Comparing these numbers to the 2006 Census, the 55 and over population was 1,165. That's an increase of 205 residents in five years or 17.6 per cent.
The biggest change in Whistler seniors is the one to come.
The 55 to 59 year olds already identified will move to the next age bracket category. The current 50 to 54 year old population represents 605 Whistlerites. Add this to the senior population and we will have over 1,900 seniors.
This total does not include any out-of-town retirees who plan to retire in Whistler in the coming five years.
So by 2016 Whistler could plan on more than one in five residents being aged 55 and over.
One in five is a significant portion of our population. Still it can appear a little mystifying why these seniors are so hard to spot.
The reason is simple: Whistler seniors don't allow the title of senior to take hold of them. They don't particularly like the title and refuse to live life how they think a senior is supposed to act.
Instead, they head for a coffee after working out at the gym.
So the next time you're trying to figure out where the local seniors are, take a good look around the tables of your favourite sushi joint. Chances are that group that just left the joint are Whistler seniors getting ready for their next adventure.
Did you know? According to Statistic Canada 2011 Census profile for Whistler, senior males outnumber senior females except in the over 85 age bracket. An unusual statistic, but one that fits the Whistler profile.