An important part of effective and patient-centred health
system planning is understanding the overall health profile
of the people who live in the Central region. Taking this
population health approach enables the Central LHIN to
address the needs of our entire population and at the same
time plan in a way that improves health equity and the
experience of people who access health services in our
With nearly 1.9 million residents, or 13.6 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 our region and are paramount as we
plan and fund the delivery of accessible, linguistically,
culturally and age-appropriate health services in Central
- Growth – Population growth of 5.9 per cent in the
Central LHIN outpaced the provincial average of 4 per
cent between 2011 and 2016. We are forecasted to grow
a further 18 per cent from by 2025.
- Diversity – Central LHIN is among the most diverse
jurisdictions in the province (49.3 per cent compared to
provincial average of 29.1 per cent)
- Aging – Central LHIN has absolute number of seniors
among all LHINs (268,750 people over the age of 65).
This population is expected to grow by 22.4 per cent by
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 subregions.
Various data sources support assessing community
characteristics, opportunities or gaps that may require
Some of the population health highlights in the sub-regions
- South Simcoe – With just over 75,000 residents, South
Simcoe is the smallest of Central LHIN’s sub-regions.
It has the highest proportion of people living in rural
areas (31 per cent) and the lowest proportion of
residents living in low-income (7.4 per cent). This area
has a higher rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease and asthma compared to the LHIN average.
Along with Northern York Region, it has the highest
rates for mental health-related physician visits for adults
10 per cent), but the lowest percentage of repeat
emergency department visits for mental health (11 per
- Northern York Region – Almost 220,000 people live
in this sub-region. It has the second lowest percentage of
residents living in low income (8.5 per cent) and a low
percentage of seniors over the age of 65 (13.6).
Combined with South Simcoe, Northern York has the
highest rates for mental health physician visits for adults
(10 per cent) but, in a variance from South Simcoe, this
sub-region has the highest percentage of repeat
emergency department visits within 30 days (20 per
- Western York Region – With over 510,000 residents,
this is the most populous Central LHIN sub-region. It
has the lowest unemployment rate (4.3 per cent), the
lowest percentage of lone-parent families (12.6), and the
lowest percentage of seniors (13.6). All five prevention
and screening indicators for this sub-region are better
than the provincial rates. This sub-region also has a
lower rate of emergency department visits compared to
the rest of the LHIN and provincially (288 per 1,000).
- Eastern York Region – Over 375,000 people live in
this sub-region. It has the highest proportion of visible
minorities – 67.1 per cent, versus the LHIN average of
46.9 per cent and the provincial average of 25.9 per
cent. Other than English, the most common languages
spoken at home are Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin),
Tamil and Persian Farsi. All five prevention and
screening indicators in this area are better than
provincial rates. There is a higher rate for diabetes here
(13.1 per cent) compared to LHIN and provincial
averages, but lower rates for asthma (11.7 per cent) and
COPD (5.6 per cent). Eastern York Region has the
lowest rate of emergency department visits (268 per
- North York West – With almost 285,000 residents,
this sub-region is entirely in a large urban setting. This
area has the lowest percentage of adults who have
completed post-secondary education (52 per cent), the
highest unemployment rate (5.9 per cent), and the
highest percentage of lone-parent families. At 21.8 per
cent, this area has more people living in low income
than anywhere else in the LHIN, well exceeding the
provincial rate of 13.8 per cent. North York West has
higher disease prevalence compared to the LHIN
average in all four indicators (asthma, diabetes, high
blood pressure and chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease). Diabetes in this sub-region is particularly
higher than the provincial average.
- North York Central – With over 395,000 residents –
this is the second largest sub-region by population –
and all of these people live within a large urban centre.
Many residents are new to the area. This sub-region has
the highest percentage of newcomers (about 71 per cent)
among all of the sub-regions. This area also has the
highest percentage of seniors. While 79.4 per cent of
adult residents have completed post-secondary
education, 20.2 per cent are living in low-income, the
second highest in the LHIN after North York West.
North York Central has lower or comparable rates to the
LHIN and provincial rates in all four disease prevalence
indicators: asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
(Data source: Ministry of Finance estimates (2011-2016)
and projections (2017-2014) for LHINs, July 2017,
Unless specified otherwise, demographic data in this section
is sourced from the Integrated Health Service Plan 2016-
2019 Environmental Scan, Ministry of Health and Long-
Term Care Health Analytics Branch analysis of Statistics
Canada, and Ministry of Finance estimates and projections.