The City of Abbotsford is committed to building a healthy community by preparing for an aging population. Older adults represent one of the fastest growing age groups in Abbotsford. In 2011, 19,695 residents (15% of the population) were over the age of 65. This marks a steady increase since 2006 and it is anticipated that growth in this population segment will continue. By 2036, is expected that almost 20% of the population (1 in 5 residents) will be over the age of 65 (2011 Census).
Adults are living longer than before, and while the majority of are healthy, the number of frail older people is increasing. Many of Abbotsford’s seniors require some level of assistance. Other concerns are isolation, language barriers, and financial insecurity. Almost 12% of Abbotsford’s seniors over the age of 65 are low-income (2011 National Household Survey).
Age-Friendly Assessment Report
Abbotsford’s Age-Friendly Assessment Report was completed in May 2017 with the information provided from the Age-Friendly surveys and community focus groups. The report identifies ways in which the community and City are working towards being age-friendly, and future opportunities for enhancement.
Children & Youth
The City of Abbotsford is one of the youngest communities in the Lower Mainland. According to the 2011 Census, 26% of the population is under 19 years of age. More than 37,000 families live in the community representing 79% of the total population. Approximately 17% of children under the age of 18 are considered low-income.
Children are identified as a priority area in Abbotsford Cares. Children’s success in school is considered an important precursor to their success in life. Initiatives that target the early years to increase school success have also been shown to prevent difficult social issues from occurring. Children who are not ready for school may be at risk for negative life consequences. Preventing issues early is better both for communities as a whole, and increases the potential and school success for those children who are vulnerable.
Youth are also a priority in Abbotsford Cares, especially programs and resources for youth who are considered at risk for negative life consequences. At risk youth require specific and targeted recreation, mental health, addiction services and housing to meet their unique needs. Factors such as access, affordability and youth friendly service providers are keys to providing quality programs and interventions for this population.