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The objective of this projection exercise was to draw a portrait of what the population of the Aboriginal identity groups in Canada—North American Indians, Métis and Inuit—might be in 2031, according to several growth scenarios. These scenarios take into account not only fertility, mortality and migration, but also ethnic mobility and other factors such as education and marital status. For this purpose, the Demosim microsimulation projection model was used. Beyond the fact that it takes a large number of characteristics into account, it also has the advantage of allowing the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations to be projected simultaneously and coherently.

From the results presented in this report, it emerges that regardless of the scenario considered, the Aboriginal population as a whole and the populations that comprise it, namely the North American Indians, the Métis and the Inuit, would continue to grow between now and 2031. This growth would occur at a faster pace than for the non-Aboriginal population, except perhaps in the case of the Métis if the population gains due to ethnic mobility were to cease. For the Métis population and, to a lesser extent, the North American Indian population, the scope of this growth is subject to great uncertainty owing to the difficulty of foreseeing how intragenerational ethnic mobility will evolve in the future.

The results of all scenarios also show that the populations of the three Aboriginal identity groups would remain younger than the non-Aboriginal population, despite the aging that Aboriginal populations would undergo between now and 2031. As for their geographic distribution, it would remain generally similar to what it was in 2006.

In preparing the prospective data contained in this report, care was taken to make the most of existing data sources. However, the available data have some limitations, especially related to coverage of the target populations, sample sizes and the data available. These limitations should be kept in mind when considering the results presented here, especially those at a small geographic scale.

Finally, it should be noted that this report contains the results of population projections rather than forecasts. In other words, the goal here was not to predict the future, but instead to have an idea of what would happen if the assumptions and scenarios chosen were to prove correct. In this sense, this was an exercise primarily intended to support the planning of public policies regarding Aboriginal populations, in light of how those populations might evolve in the coming decades.

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