||Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories
Size and growth of Canada’s population
- Under the scenarios considered, Canada’s population would be between 36.0 and 42.0 millions
in 2031 and between 36.0 and 50.0 millions in 2056.
In the medium-growth scenario, the population would be 39.0 millions
in 2031 and 42.5 millions in 2056.
- In five of the six projection scenarios, population growth would continue
through 2056, but would gradually slow down. Only the low-growth scenario
projects a decline in Canada’s population, beginning in 2040.
- Under the medium-growth scenario, Canada would continue to have a higher
rate of population growth through 2056 than the current one observed
in G8 countries such as Germany, Russia, Italy and Japan.
- In all the scenarios considered, natural increase would become negative
in the medium or long term: in 2020 under the low-growth scenario,
in 2030 under the medium-growth scenario, and in 2046 under
the high-growth scenario. As a result, migration increase would become Canada’s
only factor of population growth.
- Under five of the six projection scenarios, Canada’s international
net migration would increase between now and 2031. Compared with its 2005-2006 level
of 183,000, its 2031 level would be 150,000 in the
low-growth scenario, 223,000 in the medium-growth scenario, and 305,000 in
the high-growth scenario.
- The component that has the greatest impact on population size in our
projection scenarios is immigration. The component that has the greatest likelihood
of slowing or accelerating the aging of Canada’s population between
now and 2056 is fertility.
Age structure of Canada’s population
- Although Canada’s population in 2005 is younger than
the populations of most other G8 countries except the United States,
it is expected to age more rapidly in the coming years as a direct result
of the pronounced baby boom in Canada that followed the Second World War and
lasted 20 years.
- In every projection scenario, the median age of Canada’s population
would continue to rise. It would climb from 39 years in 2005 to
between 43 and 46 years in 2031 and between 45 and 50 years
- In all the projection scenarios considered, the proportion of senior
citizens would increase rapidly over the next few decades, reaching 23%
to 25% in 2031 and 25% to 30% in 2056. In 2005,
the figure was 13%.
- In all the projection scenarios, seniors would become more numerous
than children somewhere around 2015. It would be unprecedented in Canada’s
history. In 2031, the number of people aged 65 and over would
range between 8.9 and 9.4 million, depending on the scenario
selected, and the number of children, between 4.8 and 6.6 millions.
- The proportion of the oldest seniors (80 years and over) would
increase sharply in every projection scenario. By 2056, about one out
of ten Canadians would be 80 years and over, compared with about
one in 30 in 2005.
- The future of the working-age population (aged 15 to 64 years)
depends on the scenario. In the medium-growth scenario, the working-age population
would grow more and more slowly until 2020, remain steady for a decade,
and then resume growing. It would start decreasing in 2017 under
the low-growth scenario, and it would increase continuously through the projection
period under the high-growth scenario.
- In every projection scenario, the proportion of the working-age population
would decline steadily in the 2010s and 2020s, reaching about 62%
of the total population at the beginning of the 2030s. Then it would
level off at about 60%.
- All the projection scenarios also lead to a slight aging of the working-age
population (aged 15 to 64 years). The proportion of older
workers (aged 45 to 64 years) in the working-age population
would rise from 38% in 2005 to 41% in 2031 and
then to about 45% in 2056.
- In every projection scenario, the demographic dependency ratio –
the number of children (aged 0 to 14 years) and seniors
(65 years and over) per 100 working-age people (15 to 64 years)
– would increase rapidly until 2031. It would be about 61 in 2031,
compared with 44 in 2005.
Population of the provinces and territories
- Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia are the only provinces in which
the projected average annual growth would exceed the growth rate for Canada
as a whole. As a result, these provinces would see an increase in their population
share between now and 2031.
- Three provinces could have a smaller population in 2031 than
their estimated population in 2005: Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick
and Saskatchewan. This would only be the case under certain scenarios.
Age structure of the provinces and territories
- The difference in median age between the oldest province and the youngest
was five years in 2005. It would increase in all the scenarios considered
and would range between 7 and 11 years in 2031, mainly
because of the cumulative long-term effects of fertility and interprovincial
migration, which would vary widely from province to province.
- In almost every scenario, the Atlantic provinces would have the highest
median ages in Canada in 2031, while the three territories would have
the lowest median age in the country. Between those two extremes, the median
age would be higher than the national average in Quebec and British Columbia
and lower in Ontario and the Prairies.