By Andy Labdon
With the release of Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, figures show that the average age of Canadians has increased from 40.6 years in 2011 to 41.2 years in 2016. For the first time ever, there are more seniors than children, 5.9 million to 5.8 million, and Statistics Canada calculates this will increase to 12 million seniors and 8 million children in 2061.
Incredibly the fastest growing age group is Canadians 100 years or older, an increase of 41.3 per cent, which may go some way to explain that the number of seniors has seen the biggest increase in 70 years by 20 per cent.
Men and women are nearly divided equally with women making up 50.9 per cent of the population. But when it comes to old age, there are twice as many women than men over the age of 85, and 1.2 per cent of Canadians live in nursing homes.
The general population increased to 35,151,728, which means a five-per-cent growth from 2011. The increase in growth was mainly due to immigration, which accounted for two-thirds of growth, with births making up the total. The onus is still on immigration to fill a gap in the aging workforce as the fertility rate is only 1.6. Most new immigrants have headed for the west coast, with Canada’s big cities and metropolitan areas still attracting the majority of immigrants.
The north has seen Nunavut lead Canada in a population increase of 12.7 per cent. The majority of Canadians, 66 per cent, still live within 100 kilometres of the southern Canadian/U.S. border.
Canadians are getting more affluent and with thanks to low interest rates and a lending spree, privately-owned housing increased by 5.6 per cent to 14.1 million.
If the provinces were in a competition, then Alberta has won hands down as the fastest growing province since 2011 at 11.6 per cent. It is also home to Canada’s fourth largest city; Calgary’s population now stands at 1.4 million.
Here in Saskatchewan we came second with 6.3 per cent, edging Manitoba to a third-place 5.8 per cent growth. Saskatoon saw a growth rate of 12.5 per cent and Regina 11.8 per cent.
The table shows how much the communities in the Wadena News readership area have increased or decreased in population. It also shows the different age groups from 15 years to 74 years of age with the balance being of children under 15 or seniors over 74 years of age, and interestingly, how many people live on their own.
Baby Boomers are generally aged from 55 to 74, Generation Xs from 35-54 and Millennials from 15-34.