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 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 communities.

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 LHIN:

  • 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 2035.

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 targeted approaches.

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

  • 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 cent).
  • 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 cent).
  • 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 1,000 people).
  • 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, MOHLTC)

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.