The Changing Face of Hamilton: The millennial takeover

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Gen Y has surpassed the boomer population and is reshaping our city on several fronts

By Steve Buist

Step aside, baby boomers. You’ve had a good run but your long reign at the top of Hamilton’s demographic heap has come to an end.

Millennials — those people who became adults in year 2000 or later — are now the largest generation group in Hamilton, according to a new demographic analysis of the city produced by the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton (SPRC).

They now outnumber baby boomers, those people born between 1946 and 1965 and who, ironically, are most likely the parents of millennials.

Hamilton’s proportion of millennials — 27.58 per cent — is above the provincial average of 26.84 per cent.

As the SPRC report points out, “This difference of 0.74 percentage points may seem small but it is key to future population growth in Hamilton as this generation comes into its reproductive years and millennials start their own families.”

Millennials will help drive the economy and population growth, much as pre-boomers did in the years following the Second World War.

“Cities across Canada are competing for this generation,” said Sara Mayo, a social planner with Hamilton’s Social Planning and Research Council.

And Hamilton has been succeeding on that front, the report shows.

“But it’s not just attracting young people from Toronto,” Mayo said. “A lot of it is about keeping our own young people.

“As much as we’re attracting people from other places, we’re probably losing fewer people than we used to.”

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Article and image source: The Hamilton Spectator

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