Stats Canada data shows 17.2 per cent of the Canadian population is 65 years and older. (Black Press file photo)

Canadian society is undergoing ‘rapid aging,’ says Statistics Canada

Almost one in five Canadians is 65 or older

Compared to its G7 peers, Canadian society is young, but nonetheless aging.

According to Statistics Canada, Canada has the second-lowest share of seniors among G7 countries, with 17.2 per cent of residents aged 65 years plus. The United States has the lowest share with 15 per cent. Japan has the highest share with 28 per cent. The United Kingdom (18 per cent), France (20 per cent), Germany (21 per cent), and Italy (23 per cent) round up the rankings.

But Statistics Canada nonetheless notes that Canadian society is experiencing “rapid aging” as life expectancy has risen, while fertility rates have fallen below replacement levels.

RELATED: Saanich’s population is aging faster than the rest of Canada but less than Victoria and Oak Bay

The number of seniors first surpassed the number of children aged 0 to 14 years in 2016. This gap has only widened since. As of July 1, 2018, 106 adults aged 65 years and older existed for every 100 children aged 0 to 14 years. According to the latest projections, one in five Canadians should be aged 65 years and older.

Looking at specific provinces and territories, British Columbia records a senior share of 18.3 per cent. New Brunswick’s ranks as Canada’s oldest province with 20.8 per cent of its population 65 years and older. Newfoundland and Labrador (20.5) and Nova Scotia (20.4) round out Canada’s three oldest provinces. Including Prince Edward Island (19.6 per cent), Atlantic Canada ranks as the oldest region of Canada.

RELATED: B.C. seeks relief for aging population costs

Seniors make up 16.8 per cent and 18.8 per cent of the respective populations in Canada’s two largest provinces — Ontario and Quebec.

Nunavut is the youngest jurisdiction as 31.8 per cent of its population is 0 to 14 years old, followed by the Northwest Territories (20.4) and Saskatchewan (19.6 per cent). Alberta and Manitoba each recorded shares of 18.9 per cent. Canada’s Prairies, in other words, are the younger quarters of Canada.


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