Population projections for Canada 2009 to 2036

This article was last updated on May 19, 2022

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All growth scenarios considered, Canada’s population could exceed 40 million by 2036. The ageing of the population is projected to accelerate rapidly, as the entire baby boom generation turns 65 during this period. The number of senior citizens could more than double, outnumbering children for the first time.

From 2009 to 2036, Canada’s population could grow from 33.7 million to between 40.1 million under the low growth scenario and 47.7 million under the high growth scenario.

Results at the provincial and territorial levels vary according to the scenario considered, mainly due to differences in interprovincial migration patterns. Overall, regardless of the scenario, growth would be higher than the national average in Ontario and British Columbia. The population of every province and territory would increase during this time, except in some scenarios in the case of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Canada’s population would age rapidly until 2031, by which time the entire baby boom generation would have turned 65. It would continue ageing after 2031, but at a less rapid pace.

By 2036, the number of seniors is projected to reach between 9.9 million and 10.9 million, more than double the level of 4.7 million in 2009. They would surpass the number of children aged 14 or under for the first time ever between 2015 and 2021, depending on the scenario.

By 2036, the median age of the population would range between 42 and 45 years, compared with the current median of 39.5.

Contributors to demographic growth
Canada’s population growth depends on two factors: natural increase (births minus deaths), and net international migration (immigrants minus emigrants).

The number of deaths is projected to increase during the entire period between 2009 and 2036, as the baby boom generation gets older. Under the medium-growth scenario, natural increase would remain positive until 2036, although the levels of births and deaths would get closer over time.

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.

According to the medium-growth scenario, Canada would receive roughly 333,600 immigrants a year by 2036, compared with 252,500 in 2010.

Age structure of the population
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 ageing of the Canadian population.

At the same time, the proportion of the working-age population aged 15 to 64 would decline steadily from about 70% to about 60%.

Provincial and territorial projections
Ontario and British Columbia are the only provinces in which average annual growth would exceed the growth rate for Canada as a whole between 2009 and 2036, according to all scenarios.

Ontario’s population would increase from nearly 13.1 million in 2009 to between 16.1 million and 19.4 million in 2036, depending on the scenario. Under the medium-growth scenario, it would account for 40.5% of the national population in 2036, up from 38.7% in 2009.

The population of British Columbia would increase from nearly 4.5 million in 2009 to between 5.8 million and 7.1 million in 2036. Under the medium-growth scenario, its share of Canada’s total population would rise from 13.2% to 14.5%.

Quebec would remain the second most populous province. Its population would rise from 7.8 million in 2009 to between 8.6 million and 10.0 million in 2036.

Under the lowest-growth scenario, Newfoundland and Labrador’s population would decline from 508,900 in 2009 to 483,400 in 2036. Under the highest-growth scenario, it would rise to 544,500.

Edited by Tapa Menon

You can find more details at: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/100526/dq100526b-eng.htm

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