Drive by a playground or walk through the maternal care at Royal University Hospital and you will see what Saskatoon Health Region's Public Health Observatory (PHO) confirmed. In its latest health status update, statistics are showing the make-up of the Region's population is starting to shift.
"We are seeing the Region's population continuing to grow with most of the growth due to increasing birth rates and newcomer populations," says Dr. Julie Kryzanowski, Saskatoon Health Region's deputy medical health officer. "What is also interesting is that our growth is shifting. We are now seeing a large spike in 30-39 year olds, related in part to newcomer population growth, compared to 10 years ago. This demographic is contributing to the population growth in infants and young children. We are watching these trends with great interest as population size, age and sex distribution affect how and what we plan for services."
The Public Health Observatory also found the following:
- The Saskatoon city population increased to over 264,000 people in 2016. This represents a 2.6 per cent annual increase since 2007.
- Rural areas of the Region have also seen growth in the past 10 years with a 2.2 per cent annual population increase since 2007. The population in areas outside Saskatoon was over 92,000 in 2016.
- Life expectancy at birth continues to rise and was 81.1 years in 2012 for Regional residents (most recent data available). This trend has been continually increasing and is about the same as life expectancy across Canada.
"Life expectancy at birth is one of the most widely used public health indicators to assess population health. Increases in life expectancy are often associated with improvements in health," says Dr. Kryzanowski. "But beyond individual choices, we also know health is largely determined by the physical, social, cultural and policy environments in which we live, work, learn and play. We must continue to monitor these factors and work across sectors and levels of governments to plan for and deliver programs, services and policies that improve community well-being."
This information, including infographics, can be found on www.communityview.ca.
The Public Health Observatory also offers health status data related to employment rates and housing prices, as well as health behaviours and risk conditions such as smoking, drinking, physical activity, and weight.