Moving towards a larger proportion of seniors than of children
On July 1, 2013, the Canadian population included approximately 5.4 million people aged 65 and over, representing a record proportion of the population, at 15.3%. It also included 5.7 million children aged 14 and under and 24.1 million working-age persons (aged 15 to 64), representing 16.1% and 68.6% of the population, respectively.
The proportion of seniors has been steadily increasing for the past 50 years due to below-replacement fertilityNote 1 and the lengthening of life expectancy. This increase will accelerate in the coming years as more baby boomers reach 65 years of age.
According to the medium-growth scenario of the most recent population projections, the proportion of seniors could start to exceed the proportion of children in 2017, with a subsequent widening of the gap.
The proportion of the population that is of working age (15 to 64 years of age) has remained at around 68% since the 1980s due to the presence of the baby boomers in this age group. In the next 50 years, as baby boomers exit this age group, this proportion could drop down to the levels recorded in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, that is, to approximately 60% of the population.