Population Projections for Canada (2018 to 2068), Provinces and Territories (2018 to 2043)

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  • According to the various projection scenarios, the Canadian population would continue to increase over the next 50 years, from 37.1 million in 2018 to between 44.4 million (low-growth (LG) scenario) and 70.2 million (high-growth (HG) scenario) by 2068. Under the medium-growth (M1) scenario, the Canadian population would reach 55.2 million in 2068.
  • From an average annual population growth rate of 10.9 per thousand over the last 30 years, the rate of growth would slowly diminish to 7.3 per thousand by 2067/2068 according to the medium-growth (M1) scenario. In comparison, by 2067/2068, Canada’s annual growth rates would increase to 13.3 per thousand under the high-growth scenario (HG) and would decrease to 1.9 per thousand under the low-growth scenario (LG).
  • In all scenarios, migratory increase would be the main driver of population growth at the national level, continuing a pattern that began in the early 1990s.
  • The proportion of seniors (aged 65 and over) in the population would increase from 17.2% in 2018 to between 21.4% (slow-aging (SA) scenario) and 29.5% (fast-aging (FA) scenario) in 2068. The increase in the share of seniors would be most pronounced between 2018 and 2030, a period during which all members of the baby boom would reach age 65 and over.
  • The median age of the Canadian population would fall between 40.8 years (scenario SA) and 48.3 years (scenario FA) in 2068, compared to 40.8 years in 2018.
  • Canada’s demographic dependency ratio (the number of persons aged 14 and under or aged 65 and over per 100 persons aged 15 to 64) would increase in all projection scenarios, from 49.9 in 2018 to between 62.8 (scenario SA) and 72.8 (scenario FA) in 2068.
  • In 2016, the number of seniors (aged 65 and over) in the total population surpassed the number of children (aged 14 and under) for the first time in Canada’s history. According to all scenarios, this situation would continue in the future, and by 2068, there would be 24.8 children and 43.1 seniors per 100 persons aged 15 to 64 according to the medium-growth (M1) scenario.
  • The number of older seniors (aged 80 and over) would continue to increase rapidly in the coming years, particularly between 2026 and 2045 as the baby-boom cohort enters this age group. According to the projection scenarios, the population aged 80 and over would increase from 1.6 million in 2018 to between 4.7 million (scenario LG) and 6.3 million (scenario HG) by 2068.
  • The sex composition of older seniors would also change considerably: among persons aged 80 and over, there would be between 75 (scenario LG) and 78 (scenario M1) males per 100 females in 2068, up from 66 in 2018.
  • The number of centenarians (persons aged 100 and over) would increase substantially in the coming decades, reaching a peak in 2065 of between 65,000 (scenario LG) and 114,000 (scenario HG) persons.

Provinces and territories

  • Continuing long-term trends, the population east of Ontario would continue to decrease as a share of the total Canadian population, according to all projection scenarios. Specifically, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec would experience a decrease in their demographic weight from 2018 to 2043. In contrast, under all scenarios, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta would experience an increase in their respective demographic weights.
  • Despite the fact that their combined demographic weight would decrease in all scenarios, Ontario and Quebec would continue to be the most populous provinces in Canada over the next 25 years according to all projection scenarios.
  • Average annual growth rates would vary considerably among the provinces and territories. While most provinces and territories would experience positive population growth in all scenarios, some would experience population decrease in certain scenarios: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in the low-growth (LG) and fast-aging (FA) scenarios, the Northwest Territories in the medium-growth (M3) scenario, and Newfoundland and Labrador in all scenarios.
  • As population aging continues, all provinces and territories would see an increase in the proportion of the population that is aged 65 and over in the coming years. This share would vary widely however, from a low of 7.7% for Nunavut (scenario SA) to a high of 35.8% (scenario SA) for Newfoundland and Labrador in 2043.
  • With the exception of Nunavut, the provinces and territories could experience a considerable increase in the median age of their populations over the next 25 years. Among the provinces, the median age in 2043 could range between 37.0 years in Manitoba (scenario SA) to 54.3 years (scenario SA) in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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