Canada is ageing, thanks to baby boomers

Number of Canadian citizens nearing retirement age is now 3.7 million.

19 July, 2007:

The number of aged people in Canada is on the rise. Data from a recent census suggests that the shift points to a trend that could have important implications for the labor market, according to Statistics Canada.

The number of Canadians aged 55 to 64 – those most likely to be thinking about retirement — jumped by 28% in the past five years to reach 3.7 million. This sharp increase has been attributed to Canada’s ageing baby boomers, who account for close to one-third of the country's 32 million people.

Analysts say that the shift will have great implications for the labor market, as employers, policy makers, and regional planners struggle to deal with the changing workforce.

Along with the labor market, the ageing boomer population will have an impact on the country's health-care system, retirement homes, and pension plans, according to Statistics Canada.

Rosemary Bender, director-general of social and demographic statistics at Statistics Canada, says that “baby boomers have hit the tail-end of the working-age population.”

Statistics Canada says the numbers of retirement-aged Canadians in the workforce will continue to increase. In less than 10 years, one in 5 people in the workforce will be aged 55 to 64. In about 10 years, Canada may have more people at the age where they can leave the labour force than people at the age where they can begin working.

Earlier in 2007, David Dodge, governor of Bank of Canada, urged employers to make adjustments to allow older people to continue working, including more flexible hours and redesigned pension plans.

There are also more senior citizens than ever – over than 4.3 million. This is the first time in the history of Canada that there are more than four million people aged 65 or older.

One out of every 7 Canadians was a senior when the census was taken in 2006, and 50 years ago, that proportion was about one in 14.

In Canada, while the population of seniors is up by 11%, the number of children is down by 2.5%.

According to Statistics Canada, the proportion of those aged 65 years and above in the Group of 8 (G8) countries are:

  • Japan 20.8%
  • Italy 19.7%
  • Germany 19.3%
  • France 16.2%
  • UK 16.0%
  • Canada 13.7%
  • Russia 13.7%
  • US 12.4%




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