The prevailing belief is that many of our young people leave the region for a post secondary education and many do not return to the region because they find employment and opportunities using their education and skills in larger urban areas. In 2006, 29.9% of the Niagara population was 24 years of age and younger, compared to 31.6% of Ontario’s population. According to the 2006 Census, St. Catharines-Niagara does a better than average job of retaining its young people, but it attracts considerably fewer than its share of young people. This is why the proportion of young people is smaller in this area than in most other CMAs.
Niagara schools are experiencing a slow, but steady decline in student enrolment over the past five years (2001-2006) (The Standard, July 18, 2007).
In Niagara, children 14 and younger represent 16.8% of the population, which is below the national 17.7% and the provincial 18.2%. Source: Statistics Canada, 2005, Community Profiles.