According to Point2Homes’ list of Top Millennial Hot Spots in 2018, Chatham-Kent ranks 67th of Canada’s top 85 cities for millennials.
Canadian cities were ranked based on income, housing affordability, unemployment rate, life satisfaction, low crime rate, health care, climate, level of education, and the percentage of millennials in the total population.
The top three ranked cities weren’t the largest in Canada and seven of the top 10 best cities for millennials have a population under 500,000.
The Municipality of Chatham-Kent and council have been focused on resident attraction and retention in the community since 2011, when the census indicated a 4.2 per cent decline of our population. Efforts targeted young people (aged 15-39), immigrants, and active retiree populations to address the decline, and continue through the CK Plan 2035.
“News like the Top Millennial Hot Spot list shows these efforts are paying off and underscores the importance of community-wide initiatives that help secure Chatham-Kent’s future for upcoming generations,” Mayor Randy Hope said in a release.
The baCK to Chatham-Kent initiative was launched in response to the notable population declines occurring in the 15-39 year age group in 2011. The campaign celebrates young people that have chosen to return to Chatham-Kent and encourages others to do so by promoting and connecting them to local opportunities.
The latest census numbers, from 2016, report a significant reduction in the total population decline (to two per cent) and improvements in key age cohorts for young people. The 30-34 year old demographic increased between 2011 and 2016 by 5.4 per cent (from -8.7 per cent), and the rate of decline for those aged 20-24 (-8.3 per cent) and 35-44 (-4 per cent) have improved from -13.7 per cent and -14.9 per cent respectively.
These trends support a positive picture of Chatham-Kent’s increasing attractiveness to young people and their desire to make Chatham-Kent home.
“After living in the big city (Toronto), I couldn’t wait to slow down the pace and return home to my family and friends. The cost of living in Chatham-Kent is also incredible. We purchased a 10 acre lake front property for the same price as our 850 square foot condo in Toronto,” said Rosanna Mitchell, who recently moved baCK to Chatham-Kent.
“It’s no surprise that Chatham-Kent would make this list,” said Steve Carroll, President of the Chatham-Kent Association of Realtors. “The latest stats in the CKAR out of town home buyers survey show 30 per cent of homes sold in C-K are to people from outside the area. “Even though the average price for 2017 has risen 13 per cent, we are still one of the most affordable places to live, and the word has gotten out.”