Are stu­dents be­ing counted in cen­sus?

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Mis­lead­ing cen­sus re­sults

I have been liv­ing in the Ainslie Wood neigh­bour­hood since 1987. In that time the de­mo­graphic makeup has evolved dra­mat­i­cally. When I moved in, the house I pur­chased was pre­vi­ously oc­cu­pied by an el­derly lady and many of my neigh­bours were long time res­i­dents who had raised chil­dren and were now empty nesters. The house I pur­chased went from one res­i­dent to five when we moved in. Over the years since most of my orig­i­nal neigh­bours have been re­placed by fam­i­lies or more com­monly mul­ti­ple stu­dents.

I no­ticed when the last cen­sus was re­leased that the pop­u­la­tion in our area had de­clined, which seemed to me to be a highly ques­tion­able re­sult. I brought it to the at­ten­tion of our lo­cal coun­cil­lor at the time think­ing that it should be cor­rected as it could ef­fect gov­ern­ment grants etc. To my knowl­edge noth­ing came of it. Since then I have come to be­lieve that to stu­dent pop­u­la­tion liv­ing off cam­pus is not be­ing counted here where they live but at ‘home’ where their par­ents live. Thus cen­sus re­sults in ar­eas around McMaster would ap­pear to be un­re­li­able if not out­right mis­lead­ing.

I be­lieve there should be some kind of process to ver­ify the ex­tent and scope of the prob­lem. Doug An­der­son, Hamil­ton

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