Population Projections for Canada (2018 to 2068), Provinces and Territories (2018 to 2043)
Section 1 – Assumptions and selection of scenarios

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The purpose of having multiple projection scenarios is to reflect the uncertainty associated with the future. The projection scenarios are constructed by combining a number of assumptions regarding the future evolution of each of the components of population growth.

The five medium-growth scenarios (M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5) were developed on the basis of assumptions reflecting different internal migration patterns observed in the past. Each scenario puts forward a separate assumption to reflect the volatility of this component.

The low-growth (LG) and high-growth (HG) scenarios bring together assumptions that are consistent with either lower or higher population growth than in the medium-growth scenarios at the Canada level. For example, assumptions that entail high fertility, low mortality, high immigration, low emigration and high numbers of non-permanent residents are the foundation of the high-growth scenario.

The fast-aging (FA) and slow-aging (SA) scenarios bring together assumptions that are consistent with either faster or slower population aging than in the medium-growth scenarios. For example, assumptions that entail high fertility, high mortality, high immigration, low emigration and high numbers of non-permanent residents are the foundation of the slow-aging scenario.

The nine scenarios are intended to provide a plausible and sufficiently broad range of projected numbers to take account of the uncertainties inherent in any projection exercise. Note that in the low-growth (LG), high-growth (HG), slow-aging (SA) and fast-aging (FA) scenarios, the interprovincial migration assumption is the same as that used in the M1 medium-growth scenario, based on the period 1991/1992 to 2016/2017.

Projection assumptions and scenarios are summarized in Table 1.1. In-depth descriptions of the projection assumptions and their rationale are provided in the technical report accompanying these projections, entitled Population Projections for Canada (2018 to 2068), Provinces and Territories (2018 to 2043): Technical Report on Methodology and Assumptions (Statistics Canada catalogue no. 91-620-X).


Table 1.1
Summary of long-term projection scenario assumptions, Canada
Table summary
This table displays the results of Summary of long-term projection scenario assumptions. The information is grouped by Component (appearing as row headers), Scenario, Low growth, Medium growth, High growth, Slow aging and Fast aging (appearing as column headers).
Component Scenario
Low growth Medium growth High growth Slow aging Fast aging
LG M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 HG SA FA
Fertility (period total fertility rate) (2042/2043) 1.40 1.59 1.59 1.59 1.59 1.59 1.79 1.79 1.40
Immigration (rate per thousand) (2042/2043) 6.5 8.3 8.3 8.3 8.3 8.3 10.8 10.8 6.5
Life expectancy at birth, males (2067/2068) 85.6 87.0 87.0 87.0 87.0 87.0 88.0 85.6 88.0
Life expectancy at birth, females (2067/2068) 89.0 90.1 90.1 90.1 90.1 90.1 91.3 89.0 91.3
Interprovincial migration (reference period) 1991/1992 to 2016/2017 1991/1992 to 2016/2017 1995/1996 to 2010/2011 2003/2004 to 2008/2009 2009/2010 to 2016/2017 2014/2015 to 2016/2017 1991/1992 to 2016/2017 1991/1992 to 2016/2017 1991/1992 to 2016/2017
Non-permanent residents (number) (2043) 1,080,910 1,397,060 1,397,060 1,397,060 1,397,060 1,397,060 1,944,400 1,944,400 1,080,910
Emigration (gross migraproduction rate per thousand) (2042/2043) 2.3 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.3 1.3 2.3
Return emigration (rate per thousand) (2042/2043) 1.3 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.8 0.8 1.3
Net temporary emigration (rate per thousand) (2042/2043) 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8

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