2016 Census: Population trends in Canada by age and sex

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 11-629-x

Issue number: 2017004

Release date: May 3, 2017
2016 Census: Population trends in Canada by age and sex - Transcript

Description of visuals

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "2016 Census: Population trends in Canada by age and sex.")

In 2016, for the first time in Census history, Canada counted more seniors aged 65 and over than children under 15.

(Senior citizens appear on screen with the text "More seniors aged 65 and over." Underneath this, young people appear accompanied by the text "than children under 15.")

At Confederation, in 1867, the Canadian population was, on average, much younger than it is today.

(A confederation flag appears framed on a wall. The camera moves back and reveals a baby sitting on the floor playing with a rattle.)

Two in 5 people were under the age of 15, and only 1 in 25 was aged 65 or older.

(Five faces are on the screen. They are separated by a horizontal bar with the text "Age of 15." Three faces appear over the bar and two faces appear underneath. One arrow points up and the other points down. Multiple faces appear on the lower half of the screen. The text in the horizontal bar changes to “65 or older” and the two arrows point up. The upper half of the screen contains the face of senior citizen.)

Life expectancy then was much lower, and couples tended to have more children.

(A couple and several children appear on screen.)

Population aging accelerated in recent years, as the first baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1965, began turning 65. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of seniors increased four times faster than the overall population and almost five times faster than the number of children under 15. As a result, 16.9% of the total population were seniors in 2016, an all-time high.

(A crib materializes with a baby standing inside. The baby transforms into a teenager. Then, into a young adult, and finally, into an older gentleman. A red horizontal bar is drawn on screen. Two bubbles pop up with the years "2011" and "2016" written inside of them. A bar grows vertically with the word "Seniors" written above it. A shorter bar grows beside the first one with the words "Overall population" above it. At the bottom, the words "Increased four times faster than the overall population" appear. A third bar grows on the right hand side of the screen with the words "Children under 15" on top of it. At the bottom, the words "Almost five times faster than the number of children under the age of 15" appear. The camera moves right. A pie chart appears with the words "16.9% of the total population were seniors.")

The gap between the number of seniors and children will continue to widen in coming years, as more baby boomers reach 65 and life expectancy continues to increase. Although the proportion of seniors has increased across Canada, we can see large differences from one region to the next. For example, the Prairie provinces and the territories still had more children than seniors in 2016. This is thanks to higher fertility and, in Alberta, larger gains through interprovincial migration from other parts of Canada.

(Seniors and young children are standing on a piece of land that slowly divides. Several seniors appear on the left hand side. The camera moves backwards revealing several bubbles with similar scenes inside them. A map of Canada appears on screen. The provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba plus the Territories pop up. The word "Children" appears on the bottom with an arrow growing from it. A bar chart is on screen. The title is "Children and seniors by province." The bars grow and the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan plus the Territories are highlighted.)

We can also see differences between large cities and non-metropolitan areas. For example, the share of seniors ranges from 11.0% in the census metropolitan area of Calgary to 23.2% in rural areas of Nova Scotia.

(A generic city pops up. The camera moves to the right showing a small rural area. The camera then moves upwards showing a pie chart with the number "11%." The words "census metropolitan area" pop up. A cowboy hat appears on the other side of the pie chart. The number "23.2%" pushes the hat out of view. The words "rural areas" pop up while on the other side of the screen, a lighthouse appears.)

For more information, and to access results for your community from the 2016 Census, please visit www.statcan.gc.ca/census.

(A laptop slides into view and the words "2016 Census" and "Thank you!" appear. The 2016 Census logo appears on the laptop's screen followed by the website address "www.statcan.gc.ca/census." The slogan "Your census, Your Neighbourhood, Your future" appears. The Canada Wordmark appears.)

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