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Canada's population by age and sex

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The Daily

Thursday, November 29, 2007
As of July 1, 2007 (preliminary)

Canada's population continues to age, but it is still one of the youngest of the world's developed nations, according to new preliminary estimates.

As of July 1, 2007, the population's median age was estimated at 39.0 years. In 2002, it was 37.6 years.

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Nationally, 13.4% of Canada's population was comprised of seniors aged 65 and over, up from 12.7% in 2002. At the other end of the age scale, the proportion of children aged 14 and under fell from 18.6% to 17.0% during this five-year period.

Even so, Canada is one of the youngest of the 30 developed countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Canada's proportion of seniors ranks in 22nd place, and it is still far behind Japan, which has the OECD's oldest population. One-fifth of Japan's population is aged 65 and over.

As of July 1, 2007, Canada had an estimated 4,423,400 seniors, 100,800 more than on July 1, 2006. (These current estimates are based on the 2001 Census, adjusted for net undercoverage.)

Between July 1, 2007, and July 1, 2008, nearly 300,000 people will turn 65 in Canada, the highest annual level on record. This number should increase for another 20 years, when people born during the peak of the baby-boom generation reach retirement age. At that time, more than half a million will turn 65 each year.

Regionally, Canada's population is older east of Ontario, where all provinces had a median age over 40 and where the proportions of seniors are among the highest in the country. In the West and the North, the population is generally younger.

Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest median age (42.0 years) and the lowest proportion of youth (15.1%) in the country, as of July 1. Saskatchewan still had the highest proportion of seniors (14.9%), but the Eastern provinces are gradually closing the gap.

Because of its strong fertility, the population of Nunavut is very young. The territory has an age structure similar to many developing countries. While seniors accounted for only 3.1% of its population, children aged 14 and under represented one-third (33.2%).

Alberta had the lowest median age among the provinces (35.4 years), as well as the lowest proportion of seniors (10.4%). At 18.7%, its proportion of children aged 14 and under is the third highest among the provinces, behind Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The provinces and territories are aging at different speeds. The population's median age is increasing faster in the East than in the rest of the country. Newfoundland and Labrador, in fact, is getting older faster than any other jurisdiction of the country. Over the last five years, its median age grew by 3.2 years, more than twice the country's increase of 1.4 years.

Alberta's population is aging at the slowest pace. Over the last five years, its median age rose by only 0.5 years. The province's ageing process was slowed notably by strong inflows of young migrants from other regions in Canada. Between 2002 and 2007, Alberta had a net inflow of 153,900 from other provinces, 43% of its total growth. The median of Alberta's interprovincial in-migrants age was 26.4 years.

Available on CANSIM: tables 051-0001, 051-0002 and 051-0011 to 051-0013.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3604.

Data will appear in the Annual Demographic Statistics Compendium, 2006/2007 CD-ROM, to be released in March 2008.

For more information, to obtain additional data, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-767-5611 or 613-951-2320; fax: 613-951-2307;, Demography Division.

Tables. Table(s).