Showing posts from January, 2013

Population densities in Southwestern Ontario and the urban/rural divide

It's municipal budget season again, which brings a slew of reports and presentations related to short-term and long-term funding needs.

Earlier this week, Chatham-Kent council received a consultant's report comparing population densities among various Ontario municipalities. Population density can be a significant factor in municipal expenses and tax rates as low-density areas have to figure out how to provide services to a population spread out over a wider area.

The report showed Chatham-Kent at the bottom end of the density chart, completely dwarfed by every other municipality shown. I expect Chatham-Kent to have a low density, but having spent the last couple of years living and working in low-density areas, it wasn't clear to me that it was really that much of an outlier.

It turns out that it isn't. When you look at population density figures for all top-tier municipalities in Southwestern Ontario, Chatham-Kent's is comparable to that of surrounding small urb…