According to Statistics Canada, things are changing in a big way when it comes to the demographics of our society . The growing number of baby boomers entering the ranks of senior citizens is changing everything and now the number of Canadians aged 65 or older edge out the number of children under the age of 14, according to the most recent population figures.
StatsCan said seniors made up 16.1 per cent of Canada’s population as of July 1, 2015, compared to 16.0 per cent for children between the ages of 0 and 14.
The trend looks like it is only going to accelerate as well. StatsCan said the population growth rate for Canadians over the age of 65 was 3.5 per cent, nearly quadrupling the national average of 0.9 per cent and it is projected that Canadians over 65 will make up a fifth of the national population by 2024!
Experts say this could have implications on things like the health system and pension system in the future because there will be a smaller cohort of working age people to support that.
The aging of the Canadian population has also begun to make itself felt in provincial figures in recent years, with Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador all reporting that deaths have begun to outpace births.
But by international standards, Canada’s population of 65-and-overs is still relatively small, and lower than any other G7 nation. In Japan, for example, 26 per cent of the population is over age 64.
The bulge of aging baby boomers isn’t increasing evenly across Canada, however. Provincially, New Brunswick had the highest proportion of over-64s, at 19 per cent of the province’s total population. Conversely, the lowest proportion in Canada was in Nunavut, at 3.7 per cent. Of the provinces, Alberta had the lowest proportion at 11.6 per cent.
Across all age groups, four provinces are making up a bigger and bigger share of Canada’s total population. In July, 86.3 per cent of people in Canada lived in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta.
That breaks down as follows:
- Ontario, 38.5 per cent.
- Quebec, 23 per cent.
- B.C., 13.1 per cent.
- Alberta, 11.7 per cent.
Ontario is still Canada’s most populous province, with 13,792,100 people, Statistics Canada said. Quebec is the second most populated province at 8,263,600 people.
What do you think? Will Canada be ready to handle the challenges of an aging population?
SOURCE: Statistics Canada, CBC
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