Annual Demographic Estimates: Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2017

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Release date: September 27, 2017



Total population

  • On July 1, 2017, Canada’s population was estimated at 36,708,083, up 443,479 (+1.2%) in the past year (2016/2017).
  • In absolute numbers, Canada’s population growth last year was the largest since 1988/1989 (+485,034).
  • In 2016/2017, Canada’s population growth remained the highest among all G7 countries.
  • Last year, Canada’s net international migration (+332,068) was the highest on record since the beginning of the period covered by the current demographic accounting system (July 1971).
  • In 2016/2017, international migration accounted for the three-quarters (74.9%) of Canada’s population growth.
  • For the first time since 1988/1989, Ontario’s population growth rate (+1.5%) surpassed Alberta’s (+1.2%).
  • In the past year, the population growth rate was highest in Nunavut (+2.2%) and lowest in Newfoundland and Labrador (-0.3%).
  • Compared with 2015/2016, last year’s population growth rate remained unchanged at the national level. However, it did grow in Ontario and Quebec, the country’s two most populous provinces.
  • In 2016/2017, Alberta recorded the largest interprovincial migration loss (-15,131) since 1987/1988. Conversely, Ontario posted its highest interprovincial migration gain (+25,689) since 1987/1988.

Population by age and sex

  • On July 1, 2017, 6,195,544 Canadians, or one out of six people (16.9%), was at least 65 years of age. The gap is widening compared with the size of the population aged 0 to 14 years, which was 5,877,081 (16.0%).
  • Two out of five people aged 65 and older (40.9%) were baby boomers, or those born between 1946 and 1965. Last year, this proportion was 35.7%. As of July 1, 2017, baby boomers were between the ages of 51 and 71 years.
  • One in two Canadians was at last 40.6 years of age in 2017. The median age has increased by 10 years since 1984, when it was 30.6 years.
  • The median age was higher for women (41.5 years) than for men (39.7 years), life expectancy being higher for women compared to men.
  • On July 1, 2017, for 100 working-age individuals, Canada had 49.0 individuals aged 0 to 14 years or 65 years and older. The demographic dependency ratio has been rising steadily since 2007 (43.9).
  • Among G7 countries, Canada has one of the lowest proportions of people aged 65 and older.
  • On July 1, 2017, New Brunswick had the highest proportion of people aged 65 and older (20.1%), and Nunavut the lowest (4.0%).
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