Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On the aging of the Canadian population

The big news today from Statistics Canada is that Canadian population ageing continues.  

The number of seniors aged 65 and over increased 14.1% between 2006 and 2011. This rate of growth was more than double the 5.9% increase for the Canadian population as a whole. It was also higher than the rate of growth of children aged 14 and under (+0.5%) and people aged 15 to 64 (+5.7%).

As a result, the number of seniors has continued to converge with the number of children in Canada between 2006 and 2011. The census counted 5,607,345 children aged 14 and under, compared with 4,945,060 seniors. In the working-age population, the census counted 22,924,300 people.

The main factors behind the aging of Canada's population are the nation's below-replacement-level fertility rate over the last 40 years and an increasing life expectancy. Canada's working-age population is also growing older.

Within the working-age group, 42.4% of people were aged between 45 and 64, a record high proportion. This was well above the proportion of 28.6% in 1991, when the first baby boomers reached age 45.

[. . .]

In 2001, for every person aged 55 to 64, there were 1.40 people in the age group 15 to 24. By 2011, this ratio had fallen slightly below 1 (0.99) for the first time. This means that for each person leaving the working-age group in 2011, there was about one person entering it.

A second report highlights the regional divides in Canada, with relatively more rapid aging in Atlantic Canada and Québec than the Canadian average, while Alberta and British Columbia (largely owing to substantial migration, both from the rest of Canada and internationally) and the territories (largely owing to high birth rates) have resisted this tendency somewhat. Rural Canada, too, taken as a bloc, is experiencing faster aging than urban Canadian centers.

No comments: