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Population projections: Canada, provinces and territories, 2023 to 2073

Released: 2024-06-24

Since the last edition of Statistics Canada's population projections for Canada, provinces and territories, released in 2022, Canada's demographic landscape has evolved substantially: population growth has accelerated following many permanent and temporary immigrants coming to the country, fertility has reached a record-low level in 2022, and life expectancy has decreased for three years in a row (from 2020 to 2022).

Today, Statistics Canada has released a new set of projections for Canada (2023 to 2073) and for the provinces and territories (2023 to 2048). These projections include several possible scenarios of the future evolution of the population, as projections are not predictions. These scenarios take into account recent trends and also the opinions of population experts who were consulted specifically during the development of these projections.

Canada could have 63 million inhabitants by 2073 

According to the various projection scenarios, Canada's population, estimated at 40.1 million in 2023, would continue to grow over the coming decades to reach between 47.1 million and 87.2 million in 2073. According to the medium-growth scenario (M1), the Canadian population would reach 62.8 million people in 2073.

From an average of 1.12% over the last 30 years, the annual population growth rate would gradually decrease to reach 0.79% by 2072/2073, according to the medium-growth scenario (M1). In comparison, this rate would increase to 1.59% according to the high-growth scenario and would decrease to 0.07% according to the low-growth scenario.

In all scenarios, migratory increase would be the key driver of population growth in Canada, continuing a trend observed since the beginning of the 1990s. Natural increase—that is, the balance of births minus deaths—would play only a marginal role, given the anticipated rise in the number of deaths due to population aging, as well as low fertility, a situation observed in many other countries.

The population aged 85 and older could triple by 2073 

The share of persons aged 65 and older within the total population would increase from 18.9% in 2023 to between 21.9% (slow-aging scenario) and 32.3% (fast-aging scenario) in 2073.

However, the growth in the proportion of persons aged 65 and older would be less pronounced after 2030, when all baby-boomers will have reached or passed the age of 65.

The share of children (aged between 0 and 14) within Canada's population has decreased significantly since 1962, when it peaked at 34.0%. Estimated at 15.4% in 2023, this share of children in the population would decrease according to all projection scenarios, with the exception of the slow-aging scenario and the high-growth scenario.

The number of persons aged 85 and older would continue to increase rapidly in the coming years, particularly between 2031 and 2050, a period during which the large baby-boom cohort will reach this age group where the need for healthcare and services are significant. According to the various projection scenarios, the population aged 85 and older would increase from 896,600 people in 2023 to between 3.3 million (low-growth scenario) and 4.3 million (high-growth scenario) people in 2073.

The average age of Canada's population would reach between 42.6 years (slow-aging scenario) and 50.1 years (fast-aging scenario) in 2073, up from 41.6 years in 2023.

Population aging in all provinces and territories

If recent trends continue over the long term, the relative weight of the population of the provinces east of Ontario would continue to decline according to all projection scenarios.

Specifically, the populations of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Quebec would continue to decrease as a share of Canada's total population between 2023 and 2048, according to almost all scenarios. Conversely, the demographic weight of Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia would increase according to all scenarios.

In all projection scenarios, Ontario and Quebec would continue to be the most populous provinces in Canada over the next 25 years.

The average annual population growth rate would vary considerably among the provinces and territories. Some provinces and territories could see their population size decrease according to certain scenarios. For example, according to the low-growth scenario, the populations of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories would both decrease between 2023 and 2048.

As population aging continues, the share of older adults (aged 65 and older) in the total population would continue to increase in all provinces and territories in the coming years. The proportion of persons aged 85 and older would also increase rapidly in all provinces and territories.

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Results of the population projections for Canada (2023 to 2073) and for provinces and territories (2023 to 2048) are available in two tables: 17-10-0057-01 (population counts) and 17-10-0058-01 (components of population growth). They can also be consulted using a new interactive data visualization tool, Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories: Interactive Dashboard (Catalogue number71-607-X).

A brief analytical document entitled Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2023 to 2073 (Catalogue number91-520-X) is also available.

The publication Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories: Technical Report on Methodology and Assumptions, 2023 to 2073 (Catalogue number91-620-X), that provides information on the methods and assumptions underlying the projections, is also available.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

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