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StatsCan figures show Halton residents among most well-off 

 The latest figures released by Statistics Canada show that Halton's residents are among the most prosperous in Canada.


The statistics from the 2006 Census, released on Thursday, reveal families living in Halton earned a median income of $95,766 in 2005, making the region the most affluent in Ontario and third highest in Canada.

Other details include that:

* The median income for all households, which includes families and single individuals, was less than that of families at $83,496

* The probable reason driving income growth in Halton is the higher than average levels of education among local residents and the lower than average levels of unemployment

* Even among Halton's recent university graduates under the age of 34, median earnings ranged from nearly $55,000 to $60,000 in 2005-- the highest annual earnings for new graduates in any region of Ontario

* For all one-person household, the median income was $39,840.

"Halton's high quality of life makes this region well positioned to attract organizations that depend upon having a variety of skilled and well-educated employees to draw from," said Regional Chair Gary Carr.

"However, the Census data reveals that for some in our workforce, housing affordability is an escalating problem. Halton is working to ensure that our workforce has affordable housing options and that growth does not come at the expense of Halton's social fabric, quality of life or our environment."

The 2006 Census confirms that housing affordability continues to be a serious challenge for renters in Halton.

In 2005, 11,470-- or 43 per cent-- of renter households spent 30 per cent or more of their income on housing costs (rent plus utilities), with median monthly rent in Halton running at $970 in 2005.

Halton Region's 2006 annual housing report showed that in 2005, household earnings of between $40,000 and $77,000 would be required for rental units costing $1,000 to $1,925 per month.

Halton's Comprehensive Housing Strategy, endorsed by regional council in 2006, describes the need for a variety of housing types at a range of costs, including the need for government-assisted housing.

And the Region's 2007 annual housing report identified a 500 to 800-unit gap for government-assisted housing and a 700 to 1,200-unit gap for less expensive, private market housing in Halton.

"A broad range of housing options is obviously a core need for individuals and families," said Carr. "Halton Region will continue to work toward attracting a dynamic, diverse workforce and ensuring that they have the opportunity to live and work in our community."

The Census figures used in the latest release are the last of a series of broad community profiles from Statistics Canada.

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