Health Profile

An important part of effective and patient-centred health system planning is understanding the overall health profile of the people who live in Central LHIN. Taking this population health approach enables the Central LHIN, working in collaboration with our health system partners, to address the needs of the local population while working to improve access, equity and experience for people accessing health services in their local communities.

With nearly 1.9 million residents, or 13.5 per cent of Ontario’s total population, Central LHIN is the most populous LHIN in the province.

Three key demographics continue to drive an increased need for care and services in the Central LHIN, and are paramount as we plan and fund the delivery of accessible, linguistically, culturally and age-appropriate health services in this region:

  • Growth – Population growth of 6.4 per cent in the Central LHIN outpaced the provincial average of 5.1 per cent between 2011 and 2016. Over the next 10 years, to 2026, Central LHIN population is forecasted to grow a further 18 per cent.
  • Diversity – With 49 per cent of residents being newcomers, compared to a provincial average of 29 per cent, Central LHIN is among the most diverse jurisdictions in Ontario.
  • Aging – With more than 281,000 people over the age of 65, Central LHIN has absolute number of seniors among all LHINs (2016 data). This population is expected to double by 2035, meaning over 560,000 seniors will reside in this LHIN.

The Central LHIN takes a social determinants of health approach to planning health care services in our geography. Social determinants of health considers upstream impacts on what makes Canadians sick – including numerous factors within each individual’s biology, environment, life and health care. The Central LHIN considers unique population data and population health indicators in each of the six sub-regions. Various data sources support assessing community characteristics, opportunities or gaps that may require targeted approaches.

Some of the population health highlights in the sub-regions include:

  • South Simcoe – With less than 77,000 residents, South Simcoe is the smallest of Central LHIN’s sub-regions, and also has the highest proportion of people living in rural areas (29 per cent). While South Simcoe has the lowest proportion of residents living in low-income (8.3 per cent), obesity rates are much higher in this sub-region compared to the rest of the Central LHIN and Ontario. Also compared to the rest of Central LHIN, this area has higher rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, adult mental health-related physician visits, and emergency department visits (562 per 1,000 population).
  • Northern York Region – Over 220,000 people live in this sub-region. Relative to the rest of the LHIN, it has lower percentages of seniors aged 65+ (14.9 per cent) and higher number of residents active in the labour force (70.5 per cent). On average, residents of Northern York have lower rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and COPD – yet also high rates of mental health physician visits for adults (10 per cent) and a high percentage of repeat emergency department visits within 30 days (20 per cent).
  • Western York Region – With almost 520,000 residents, this is the most populous Central LHIN sub-region. It has the lowest unemployment rate (6.2 per cent), the lowest percentage of lone-parent families (12.6 per cent), and a high number of senior citizens (nearly 70,000 residents are over the age of 65). This sub-region demonstrates better than provincial rates for all five prevention and screening indicators, and also a lower rate of emergency department visits – 292 per 1,000 compared to 323 for Central LHIN and 442 across Ontario.
  • Eastern York Region – Over 380,000 people live in this sub-region. It has the highest proportion of visible minorities – 72.9 per cent, versus the LHIN average of 51.9 per cent and the provincial average of 29.3 per cent – and also the highest percentage of individuals without knowledge of English or French (9.1 per cent). Other than English, the most common languages spoken at home are Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Tamil and Persian Farsi. Eastern York Region has lower rates of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and the lowest rate of emergency department visits (258 visits per 1,000 population) in the Central LHIN.
  • North York West – This sub-region, which is entirely in a large urban setting, has over 290,000 residents. This area has the lowest percentage of adults who have completed post-secondary education (52 per cent) and the highest unemployment rate (9.6 per cent). At 22.6 per cent, this area has more people living in low income than anywhere else in the LHIN, well exceeding the provincial rate of 14.4 per cent. There is a high prevalence of diabetes. Close to 7 per cent of patients from this area are medically complex (having 4+ conditions), exceeding the 5.8 per cent provincial average.
  • North York Central – With close to 400,000 residents, this is the second largest sub-region by population. This catchment is considered large urban area. Close to 60 per cent of residents here are new to Canada. While over 78 per cent of adults age 25+ here have completed some form of post-secondary education, over 22 per cent of residents are living in low income. There is also a high percentage of senior citizens living alone (25 per cent). Similar to North York West, this sub-region also has a higher than provincial average of patients with 4+ medical conditions. 
Data sources:
  • Ministry of Finance estimates (2011-2016) and projections (2017-2041) for LHINs, July 2017, MOHLTC.
  • Environmental Scan for LHINs, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Health Analytics Branch analysis of Statistics Canada, and Ministry of Finance estimates and projections, September 2018.
  • LHIN and Sub-Region Census Profile - 2016 Census, Health Analytics Branch, MOHLTC.