Census data highlights aging population

By Steve Randall
New Canadian census figures show that there are now more seniors than children which highlights Canada’s aging population.

Statistics Canada’s data shows that between 2011 and 2016, Canada registered the largest increase in the proportion of seniors since Confederation, a 20 per cent rise in over 65’s.

The share of seniors in that 5-year period reached 16.9 per cent, children represented 16.6 per cent of the population, and the forecast is for seniors to make up 23 per cent by 2031.

The figures also reveal that women make up a larger share of the population, due to increased life expectancy.

By region, there are some clear differences. In Atlantic Canada, the number of seniors has increased sharply while under 64s have declined; in the Prairies, there is a younger demographic. Ontario has a fairly balanced population while BC (especially Vancouver Island) tends to be older and the Territories have the youngest populations.

Among the challenges of the aging population is the right mix of housing and transit options to address the needs of older people.

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