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Millennials now the dominant generation in New Westminster: census

Baby boomers have lost their population supremacy, dropping from 27.4% of the population in 2016 to just 23.3% in 2021.
millennial eating avocado toast
Millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest generational demographic in New Westminster.

Millennials have officially outstripped baby boomers as the largest generation in New Westminster.

Statistics Canada just released new data from the 2021 census, including a breakdown of population by age.

That data shows millennials now account for 21,655 of New Westminster's 78,915 residents, or 27.4% of the population. That's up from 2016, when they accounted for just 23.4% of people living in New West.

The number of boomers, meanwhile, has trended in the opposite direction. There are now 18,435 boomers in New West, or 23.3% of the population – down from 27.4% in 2016. (See demographic definitions below.)

Generation X, meanwhile, accounts for 20.8% of the population (16,415 residents), down slightly from 22.4% in 2016.

At the same time, the proportion of children in the city has remained steady. In 2016, there were 6,195 children under the age of 10 living in New West; in 2021, that number was up to 6,780. As a percentage of the overall population, however, that means very little real change: 8.7% in 2016 and 8.6% in 2021.

Who's who: How Statistics Canada defines millennials, baby boomers

Statistics Canada defines millennials as those with birth years 1981 to 1996, or those aged 25 to 40 in 2021, and baby boomers as those born from 1946 to 1965, or ages 56 to 75 in 2021. That leaves Generation X as those born in the intervening period, 1966 to 1980, or those aged 41 to 55 in 2021.

Since Statistics Canada provides five-year age breakdowns, the numbers referenced above use the cohorts most closely aligned to the birth years above:

  • Millennials: In the 2021 census, ages 25-29, 30-34 and 35-39. In the 2016 census, ages 20-24, 25-29, 30-34.
  • Gen X: In 2021, ages 40-44, 45-49 and 50-54. In 2016, ages 35-39, 40-44, 45-49.
  • Baby boomer: In 2021, ages 55-59, 60-64, 65-69 and 70-74. In 2016, ages 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 and 65-69.

You can find full 2021 data at Statistics Canada's census portal.

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
Email Julie, jmaclellan@newwestrecord.ca.