Population Projections for Canada (2018 to 2068), Provinces and Territories (2018 to 2043)
Section 3 – Results at the provincial and territorial levels, 2018 to 2043

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General results

The projections for the provinces and territories include an additional component compared to the projections for Canada as a whole: interprovincial migration. For several provinces, interprovincial can have a substantial impact on population growth. It is also one of the most volatile components, as it is largely influenced by many non-demographic factors such as differentials in wages and employment opportunities among the provinces and territories.

According to the projection scenarios, most provinces and territories would experience an increase in population between 2018 and 2043 (Table 3.1). However, some Atlantic provinces and the Northwest Territories would experience a population decrease during the period in certain projection scenarios.


Table 3.1
Total population, historic (2018) and projected (2043) according to nine scenarios, Canada, provinces and territories
Table summary
This table displays the results of Total population. The information is grouped by Region (appearing as row headers), Historic (2018), Projected (2043), Low-growth scenario (LG), Medium-growth scenarios, High-growth scenario (HG), Slow-aging scenario (SA), Fast-aging scenario (FA), M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5, calculated using in thousands units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Region Historic (2018) Projected (2043)
Low-growth scenario (LG) Medium-growth scenarios High-growth scenario (HG) Slow-aging scenario (SA) Fast-aging scenario (FA)
M1 M2 M3 M4 M5
in thousands
Canada 37,058.9 42,288.8 46,505.6 46,508.2 46,504.6 46,509.5 46,488.3 51,493.2 50,144.7 43,539.6
Newfoundland and Labrador 525.4 429.4 458.6 444.8 460.2 501.5 484.8 488.3 468.5 448.8
Prince Edward Island 153.2 177.8 197.4 197.1 188.7 188.9 195.5 220.8 214.2 183.9
Nova Scotia 959.9 916.9 993.8 987.6 960.7 987.9 1,019.2 1,078.9 1,042.1 952.4
New Brunswick 770.6 736.9 794.0 795.1 780.6 777.7 782.4 855.1 825.8 765.1
Quebec 8,390.5 8,707.1 9,472.4 9,479.5 9,507.9 9,479.6 9,410.2 10,361.8 10,064.7 8,989.2
Ontario 14,322.8 16,537.5 18,265.2 18,278.0 17,873.5 18,245.0 18,527.6 20,354.5 19,826.8 17,023.3
Manitoba 1,352.2 1,571.5 1,741.4 1,739.7 1,717.7 1,755.0 1,742.5 1,946.7 1,900.2 1,613.9
Saskatchewan 1,162.1 1,431.7 1,591.2 1,579.8 1,631.7 1,682.7 1,579.6 1,780.2 1,738.8 1,469.0
Alberta 4,307.1 6,027.8 6,619.2 6,726.4 6,849.7 6,409.8 5,924.5 7,303.7 7,152.1 6,164.9
British Columbia 4,991.7 5,615.7 6,224.4 6,139.3 6,388.9 6,319.5 6,656.7 6,942.3 6,753.5 5,789.8
Yukon 40.5 44.8 49.1 45.8 52.3 58.0 60.7 54.1 52.9 45.9
Northwest Territories 44.5 44.7 48.6 45.0 43.9 50.0 52.6 53.2 52.1 45.6
Nunavut 38.4 47.1 50.3 50.0 48.9 54.0 52.0 53.6 52.9 47.7

The projected average annual growth rate for the period 2018/2019 to 2042/2043 (Table 3.2) varies not only from one province or territory to another but also from one scenario to another within each province or territory. With the exception of Prince Edward Island, provinces located east of Ontario show a growth rate below the national average, while the Prairie provinces are projected to experience growth above the Canadian average in all scenarios. As a result, the geographic distribution of the population within Canada (Table 3.3) could change over the next 25 years. Most scenarios indicate that the population share of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec would either decrease or remain constant, while the population of the Prairie provinces would account for an increased proportion of the national population.


Table 3.2
Average annual population growth, projected (2018/2019 to 2042/2043) according to nine scenarios, Canada provinces and territories
Table summary
This table displays the results of Average annual population growth. The information is grouped by Region (appearing as row headers), Low-growth scenario (LG), Medium-growth scenarios, High-growth
scenario (HG), Slow-aging scenario (SA), Fast-aging scenario (FA), M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5, calculated using per thousand units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Region Low-growth scenario (LG) Medium-growth scenarios High-growth
scenario (HG)
Slow-aging scenario (SA) Fast-aging scenario (FA)
M1 M2 M3 M4 M5
per thousand
Canada 5.3 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 9.1 13.2 12.2 6.5
Newfoundland and Labrador -8.0 -5.4 -6.6 -5.3 -1.9 -3.2 -2.9 -4.6 -6.3
Prince Edward Island 6.0 10.2 10.1 8.4 8.4 9.8 14.7 13.5 7.3
Nova Scotia -1.8 1.4 1.1 0.0 1.1 2.4 4.7 3.3 -0.3
New Brunswick -1.8 1.2 1.2 0.5 0.4 0.6 4.2 2.8 -0.3
Quebec 1.5 4.9 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.6 8.5 7.3 2.8
Ontario 5.8 9.8 9.8 8.9 9.7 10.3 14.2 13.1 6.9
Manitoba 6.0 10.2 10.1 9.6 10.5 10.2 14.7 13.7 7.1
Saskatchewan 8.4 12.7 12.4 13.7 14.9 12.4 17.2 16.3 9.4
Alberta 13.5 17.3 18.0 18.7 16.0 12.8 21.3 20.5 14.4
British Columbia 4.7 8.9 8.3 9.9 9.5 11.6 13.3 12.2 6.0
Yukon 4.1 7.7 4.9 10.3 14.5 16.4 11.7 10.7 5.1
Northwest Territories 0.1 3.5 0.4 -0.6 4.6 6.7 7.1 6.3 1.0
Nunavut 8.2 10.9 10.6 9.7 13.7 12.2 13.4 12.9 8.7

Table 3.3
Distribution (percent) of the population, historic (2018) and projected (2043) according to nine scenarios, Canada, provinces and territories
Table summary
This table displays the results of Distribution (percent) of the population. The information is grouped by Region (appearing as row headers), Historic (2018), Projected (2043), Low-growth scenario (LG), Medium-growth scenarios, High-growth scenario (HG), Slow-aging scenario (SA), Fast-aging scenario (FA), M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Region Historic (2018) Projected (2043)
Low-growth scenario (LG) Medium-growth scenarios High-growth scenario (HG) Slow-aging scenario (SA) Fast-aging scenario (FA)
M1 M2 M3 M4 M5
percent
Canada 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Newfoundland and Labrador 1.4 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.0 0.9 0.9 1.0
Prince Edward Island 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4 0.4
Nova Scotia 2.6 2.2 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.2 2.1 2.1 2.2
New Brunswick 2.1 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.8
Quebec 22.6 20.6 20.4 20.4 20.4 20.4 20.2 20.1 20.1 20.6
Ontario 38.6 39.1 39.3 39.3 38.4 39.2 39.9 39.5 39.5 39.1
Manitoba 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.7 3.8 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.7
Saskatchewan 3.1 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.4
Alberta 11.6 14.3 14.2 14.5 14.7 13.8 12.7 14.2 14.3 14.2
British Columbia 13.5 13.3 13.4 13.2 13.7 13.6 14.3 13.5 13.5 13.3
Yukon 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Northwest Territories 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Nunavut 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1

In the coming decades, the population aging projected at the national level would also be experienced by each of the provinces and territories, though to varying degrees. With the exception of Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut, all provinces and territories show an increase in their median ages during the projection period (Table 3.4). The proportion of the population aged 65 and over would also increase in all regions of Canada (Table 3.5). The most rapid increases would occur in the Atlantic provinces and the territories. The Northwest Territories and Nunavut would nevertheless have the lowest proportions of persons aged 65 and over in 2043, as was the case in 2018. Conversely, the highest proportions of seniors (aged 65 and over) in Canada in 2043 would occur in the Atlantic provinces, particularly in Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick.


Table 3.4
Median age, historic (2018) and projected (2043) according to nine scenarios, Canada, provinces and territories
Table summary
This table displays the results of Median age. The information is grouped by Region (appearing as row headers), Historic (2018), Projected (2043), Low-growth scenario (LG), Medium-growth scenarios, High-growth scenario (HG), Slow-aging scenario (SA), Fast-aging scenario (FA), M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5, calculated using in years units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Region Historic (2018) Projected (2043)
Low-growth scenario (LG) Medium-growth scenarios High-growth scenario (HG) Slow-aging scenario (SA) Fast-aging scenario (FA)
M1 M2 M3 M4 M5
in years
Canada 40.8 45.0 43.8 43.8 43.8 43.8 43.8 42.1 41.3 45.9
Newfoundland and Labrador 46.5 53.0 52.6 53.2 52.6 51.1 51.6 51.5 50.2 54.3
Prince Edward Island 43.6 48.1 47.0 47.2 47.9 47.4 46.8 45.4 44.4 49.2
Nova Scotia 45.1 49.2 48.3 48.4 48.9 48.2 47.7 46.7 45.5 50.4
New Brunswick 45.9 50.0 49.2 49.1 49.5 49.9 49.9 47.9 46.7 51.2
Quebec 42.5 46.2 45.0 45.0 45.1 45.1 45.2 43.3 42.3 47.3
Ontario 40.6 45.0 43.8 43.8 44.0 43.8 43.6 42.1 41.3 45.9
Manitoba 37.3 40.9 39.5 39.5 39.6 39.0 39.0 37.6 37.0 41.7
Saskatchewan 37.3 41.3 40.0 40.1 40.1 39.2 39.7 38.3 37.7 42.1
Alberta 36.9 41.7 40.6 40.3 39.9 40.6 41.0 39.3 38.8 42.3
British Columbia 42.2 47.0 45.8 46.2 46.0 46.1 45.7 43.9 43.1 47.9
Yukon 38.9 43.0 42.0 43.5 44.3 42.7 42.1 40.6 40.0 43.7
Northwest Territories 34.8 37.5 36.7 36.7 36.9 38.2 39.0 35.8 35.3 38.1
Nunavut 26.1 28.3 27.1 26.9 26.8 28.6 28.7 25.8 25.6 28.6

Table 3.5
Proportion (percent) of the population aged 65 and over, historic (2018) and projected (2043) according to nine scenarios, Canada, provinces and territories
Table summary
This table displays the results of Proportion (percent) of the population aged 65 and over. The information is grouped by Region (appearing as row headers), Historic (2018), Projected (2043), Low-growth scenario (LG), Medium-growth scenarios, High-growth scenario (HG), Slow-aging scenario (SA), Fast-aging scenario (FA), M1, M2, M3, M4 and M5, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Region Historic (2018) Projected (2043)
Low-growth scenario (LG) Medium-growth scenarios High-growth scenario (HG) Slow-aging scenario (SA) Fast-aging scenario (FA)
M1 M2 M3 M4 M5
percent
Canada 17.2 24.3 23.7 23.7 23.7 23.7 23.7 22.5 21.1 25.9
Newfoundland and Labrador 20.5 33.6 33.7 34.4 33.7 31.9 32.5 33.0 30.9 35.8
Prince Edward Island 19.6 27.3 26.4 26.5 27.4 27.3 26.3 24.9 23.3 29.1
Nova Scotia 20.4 29.3 28.9 28.9 29.5 29.1 28.5 27.9 26.1 31.3
New Brunswick 20.8 30.4 30.1 30.0 30.5 30.8 30.8 29.2 27.4 32.4
Quebec 18.8 26.2 25.7 25.6 25.8 25.8 25.9 24.6 22.9 28.0
Ontario 16.9 24.5 23.8 23.7 24.0 23.8 23.4 22.6 21.2 26.1
Manitoba 15.4 20.4 19.6 19.6 19.8 19.3 19.3 18.4 17.2 21.8
Saskatchewan 15.4 19.6 18.9 19.0 19.1 17.7 18.4 17.7 16.5 20.9
Alberta 12.8 19.6 19.0 18.7 18.0 18.6 19.5 18.1 17.0 20.8
British Columbia 18.3 26.2 25.5 26.1 25.7 26.0 25.3 24.1 22.7 27.8
Yukon 11.8 19.2 18.7 20.4 20.6 19.1 18.6 17.8 16.6 20.6
Northwest Territories 7.9 15.7 15.5 16.1 16.3 15.6 15.5 14.9 13.8 17.0
Nunavut 3.9 8.7 8.6 8.8 9.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 7.7 9.4

Results by province and territory

This section provides for each province and territory a brief analysis composed of a series of highlights, two figures and a table describing population growth, its sources, and the age structure of the population.

The first figure shows the projected growth according to the low-growth (LG), medium-growth (M1) and high-growth (HG) scenarios, along with the two alternative medium-growth scenarios (that is, among M2, M3, M4 and M5) showing the lowest and highest growth in 2043.Note

A table follows decomposing population growth into three components: natural increase (births minus deaths), international migratory increase (immigrants plus net non-permanent residents minus net emigrants) and interprovincial migratory increase (interprovincial in-migration minus interprovincial out-migration), for each of the nine proposed scenarios. For each of these components, crude rates are shown. Crude rates indicate the precise impact of each of the components on population growth, and are influenced by both the intensity of a demographic phenomenon and the age structure of the population.

Finally, a figure comparing four population pyramids illustrates the projected changes in the age composition of the population of each province and territory: the population in 2018 is shown along with the projected population in 2043 as per the medium-growth (M1), slow-aging (SA) and fast-aging (FA) scenarios.


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