The recently-released 2010 Ontario Population Report indicates population numbers in Rainy River District, and elsewhere in the region, have dropped since 2006.
The report, compiled by the Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (MPAC) as part of the municipal election process and delivered directly to municipalities during election years, indicates the population of Fort Frances has declined from 7,278 people in 2006 to 6,741 in 2010—a dip of 537 residents.
The Township of Atikokan has dropped from 2,950 people to 2,814 while the Township of Alberton declined from 923 to 851.
In the Township of La Vallee, the population has dipped from 958 to 943 while the Township of Emo saw a decline from 1,163 to 1,115.
Chapple has dipped from 778 to 680 people, Morley has declined from 500 to 458, and Dawson has shrunk from 513 to 500.
The Town of Rainy River has decreased from 776 to 726.
Lake of the Woods Township dipped from 308 to 285.
The number of people living in unincorporated areas in Rainy River District is 1,112.
Up in Kenora District, population numbers also have declined across the board.
The City of Kenora has dropped from 13,414 people to 12,401 while the City of Dryden has declined from 7,232 to 6,562.
The population of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls has gone from 648 to 599.
A total of 5,779 people live in the unincorporated areas of Kenora District.
It should be noted, however, that the provincial population report indicates numbers somewhat lower than those of Statistics Canada.
For example, according to the last national census conducted in May, 2006, the population of Fort Frances was 8,103—a difference of 825 from MPAC’s numbers for that same year.
A representative from MPAC explained to the Times last week that the numbers provided by MPAC are based on the occupancy information it on file.
This information is collected through various sources, including:
•sales information received from the Registry Office;
•MPAC’s Tenant Information Program, whereby owners of multi-residential buildings are required to annually submit the names of their tenants to MPAC;
•“Request for Occupancy Information” forms that MPAC mails to households where they require confirmation or update of occupant information; and
•enquiries to its Customer Contact Centre.
In municipal election years, MPAC supplements its occupancy information by mailing out “Municipal Enumeration Forms” to households where additional information is required.
This year, roughly 2.4 million municipal enumeration forms were mailed out.
Because MPAC relies on this information, the response rate to its request for information will impact the population numbers prepared by MPAC.
Typically, it receives a 40 percent return on “Municipal Enumeration Form” or “Request for Occupancy Information” requests.
As well, MPAC does not have access to vital statistics (i.e. births and deaths). As a result, it does not have up-to-date information on occupants below the age of 18 unless a recipient of one of their questionnaires noted above provides them with this information.
Generally speaking, the under-18 age category is one of the areas where MPAC’s population numbers differ from those compiled by StatsCan, the MPAC rep said.