Statistics Canada Predicts Seniors Will Soon Outnumber Children
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By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
OTTAWA, May 27, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Demography Division of Statistics Canada has predicted that the number of seniors will surpass the number of children aged 14 or under for the first time ever sometime between 2015 and 2021.
The population projections for 2009 to 2036, released by the federal agency yesterday, say that Canada's population will age rapidly until 2031, by which time the entire baby boom generation would have turned 65. Thereafter it would continue aging, but at a less rapid pace.
"Projections show that seniors would account for between 23% and 25% of the total population by 2036, nearly double the 13.9% in 2009. Higher immigration levels would do little to change the forthcoming aging of the Canadian population," the report states.
While the number of children aged 14 or under for every 100 people in the working-age population will increase marginally from 24 in 2009 to 26 by 2036, seniors aged 65 and over would rise from 20 to 39 for every 100 people of working age.
At the same time, the proportion of the working-age population aged 15 to 64 would decline steadily from about 70% to about 60%.
The report takes into account three growth rate scenarios, high-, medium- and low-growth, based on assumptions of fertility, life expectancy and migration, factoring in natural increase (births minus deaths), and net international migration (immigrants minus emigrants).
"Regardless of the scenario, immigration levels would represent a larger share of the projected population growth at the national level. Because large numbers of new immigrants consist of younger individuals in the child-bearing age, sustained levels of immigration would also have a positive impact on the number of births," the report explains.
The fact that immigration is seen to play a major role in Canada's growth highlights the problem of declining birth rate among Canadians of child-bearing age.