Aging Canada

One of the thoughts that occasionally crosses my mind is the average age of the Canadian population. Recently Statistics Canada released some updated information. If you read the reports, Calgary's population has the lowest median age of any major city in Canada, yet even there things seem a little off. Consider a quote from an article entitled Alberta's fountain of youth

Goodyear's other aspiration, "to be a daddy," is also reflective of the province-wide baby boom, which is further contributing to Alberta's younger population. ... but despite record growth among the workforce population in Alberta, the region is hardly off the hook when it comes to an aging population. Alberta's fertility rate -- at approximately 1.8 children per woman -- is still not at replacement levels

Note that even though births don't meet the "replacement rate", the article still dubs the situation in Alberta a baby boom.

Consider a blurb from another article:

Statistics Canada said Tuesday the country's labour force is at the point where one person leaves for every one person entering it.

But in about 10 years, Canada will slide into a negative worker replacement ratio, where more people retire from the workplace than enter it.

"In part, Canadians will fill the jobs, and certainly immigration and regional migration," demographer Andrew Ramlo told CTV Newsnet.

"But what we're also going to have to look towards is that the labour force already here, you and I, will have to be much more productive. With the number of people retiring, we simply won't have enough immigrants to slow that down over the coming decades."


I have a hunch that if we tried to maintain the size of the labour force, it would be too large in proportion to the population. Also, I have a difficult time accepting that we need more immigrants to fill jobs when unemployment is more than zero.

I have a difficult time accepting that we need more immigrants to fill jobs when unemployment is more than zero.

Not everyone is qualified for every job (although for some professions like medicine a little bit of retraining may be necessary), and also there are jobs out there that a lot of unemployed folks just aren't applying for - eg. at fast food joints.

Note that while the number of "native" born Canadians is less and less each year, mostly replaced by immigration, also note that the aboriginal population is in the positive. I believe that Saskatchewan now has about 1/3 aboriginal population, estimated to reach about 1/2 within the next few decades. An interesting trend considering our immigrant forefathers decimated the aboriginal populations at one time (unintentional i.e. disease, and intentional).

Analysts agree that a relatively high birthrate contributes to the young population in aboriginal communities; the fertility rate among aboriginal people in Canada is approximately 2.5 children per woman, compared to a national average of about 1.5.