Transcript of the chat session on the current age and sex structure of Canada's population, 2011 Census, which occurred on Monday, June 4, 2012, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EDT

Note: This was a bilingual chat session, which means that the participants were able to submit their questions in English or French. Statistics Canada respects the Official Languages Act and is committed to ensuring that information products of equal quality are available in both English and French. For that reason, all the questions and answers have been translated in the other official language.

 Laurent Martel: Welcome everyone. It is 1:30 p.m. EDT and the session is now open. This is a bilingual chat session, which means that you can submit your questions in English or French. I will try to get to them in a timely manner and I will respond in the official language in which the question was asked.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:30:09

 MM Consulting: What are the top two most significant trends that the census data showed?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:30:47

 Laurent Martel: The most interesting findings: first, the ratio of those 15 to 24 compared to those 55 to 64 was about 1, its lowest level ever seen. This trend has important implications for the future of Canada's labour force. The second was the increase of 11% in the number of very young children aged 0 to 4. This was the largest increase since the end of the baby boom period in Canada.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:34:46

 BarryKiefl: Would you say that the aging of the population represents a good marketing opportunity for businesses that cater to older people, such as radio stations that tend to have an older audience? Thanks.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:33:48

 Laurent Martel: Marketing studies can definitely use census data to assess important demographic trends in the age and sex distribution of the Canadian population. Canada's population is getting older and the needs of that population will likely change in the coming years.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:36:56

 Candureactor: I've read that our population is gravitating towards urban centres. Is this true of all age groups?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:34:58

 Laurent Martel: Data on migration is not available yet, but should come out with the National Household Survey. All age groups are not equally represented within population centres; areas closer to the centre of towns tend to be older (have a higher proportion of people aged 65 and older) than areas further out of town. Our Census in Brief might have the information you are looking for.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:40:27

 Donna Roy: Can you break down why Saskatchewan's population is younger than in other areas of Canada please? I expect that it is partly due to the youth of the Aboriginal population, but are there other factors?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:35:29

 Laurent Martel: In recent years, Saskatchewan has had a higher fertility rate than most other provinces in Canada. In fact, in 2009, it was just over 2 children per woman. As a consequence, the proportion of children aged 0 to 14 is higher in Saskatchewan than elsewhere in Canada, except for the territories, with 19.1%, compared to 16.8% for Canada as a whole. As for the Aboriginal population, we don't have this information yet; it will be part of the National Household Survey.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:45:27

 Jpfossey: The data show an aging population - nothing new there. What is interesting, however, as baby-boomers continue to approach age 65 is to track what proportion of them will continue to work past age 65. As life expectancy is increasing, more individuals may choose to work past 65. To what degree is this occurring and what are the implications in terms of how we define the working age population?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:35:33

 Laurent Martel: Data from the Labour Force Survey have shown for years that participation rates for people aged 55 and older are increasing. This indicates that more people are working or looking for work past age 65. The working-age population is defined as the population 15 to 64 to meet Labour Force Survey and international standards. Statistics Canada adapts its concepts and definitions on a regular basis as society evolves.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:41:42

 Thabo: The data states that Canada's share of people in the working age category is higher than that of other G8 countries. To what extent can this be attributed to immigration?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:35:38

 Laurent Martel: The first reason Canada has a high share of working-age people is the larger baby boom we had in Canada compared to elsewhere. Baby boomers were between 46 and 65 in 2011 and were thus still concentrated in the working-age population. High immigration levels in the last twenty years have contributed to this high share, but to a lesser extent.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:44:24

 Kresener: Is there an audio or video link?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:36:11

 Moderator: kresener, thank you for your question. There is no audio or video link for this chat session.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:37:09

 hpedneault: Do you have data on the composition (sex and age) of the French-speaking population living outside of Quebec?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:36:45

 Laurent Martel: No. The most recent data on language is from the 2006 Census. Statistics Canada will release language data from the 2011 Census on October 24. At that point, we will have more information on this topic.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:45:35

 Susan Forseille: I work with post-secondary students and their transition from education to meaningful career. Do any particular statistics stand out for these students in regard to career decision making and career development?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:36:53

 Moderator: Susan, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, that subject is outside the expert's area of expertise. We will follow up with you by email in the following business days.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:39:38

 Jack1973: Can you provide any perspective on the increase in the 0-4 year old population? Is it being driven by a particular province?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:37:59

 Laurent Martel: The population of the 0 to 4 age group increased everywhere in Canada. The growth was higher in the Prairies and Quebec.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:50:42

 Jaspal: The population count data released earlier reported 574 Census Subdivisions in Ontario, however, the Age and Sex data released on May 29th show 517 CSDs in Ontario. My question is, how do we account for this difference? Thanks.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:38:19

 Laurent Martel: Data for some small populations is kept confidential (or suppressed) for specific Census Subdivisions, as Statistics Canada is committed to preserving people's confidentiality for the characteristics of the population. Suppressions are also sometimes related to high non-response rates. Data on population counts do not have any suppression. For more information:

Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:53:12

 R Beshiri: Why the large increase of kids 0-4? Something special going on with the parental cohort? Lots of multiple births? Immigrants? Aboriginals?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:39:49

 Laurent Martel: In the last five years, fertility rates increased everywhere in Canada. In addition, the number of women of prime childbearing age (aged 20 to 34) increased. As for the effect of immigrants and aboriginals, we don't have this information yet; it will be part of the National Household Survey.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:53:18

 Kelly Mao: Large urban areas appear to have lower median ages than rural areas. What are some of the implications resulting from a "younger population"?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:41:15

 Laurent Martel: Different populations mean different needs and services. Many census metropolitan areas (CMAs) show on average younger populations in census subdivisions (municipalities) located on the fringe of the CMA and older populations close to the centre of the CMA. Younger populations often have specific needs such as daycare facilities, schools, parks and so on.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:57:17

 R Beshiri: While the population is moving toward the urban centres, what can you tell us (demographically) of the rural folks.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:41:27

 Laurent Martel: Areas located outside of Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) and Census Agglomerations (CAs) (excluding the territories) are older than CMAs combined and CAs combined. They have a proportion of people aged 65 and older of 17.9%, compared to 13.7% for CMAs combined and 17.0% for CAs combined. See Proportion (in percentage) of the population aged 14 and under, 15 to 64, and 65 and over, Canada, metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, 2011
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:58:36

 Crystalcity: @ BarryKiefl, I always feel there is a danger in catering too much to any one demographic. At the community/municipal level, if you focus too strong on one demographic you end up having a very difficult time attracting other demographics that provide services to the first. Case in point: Kelowna and the Okanagan. Youth only come in the summer for vacation, but to attract professionals to work here? Most would rather be in Vancouver.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:43:39

 Thabo: The data states that Canada's share of people in the working age category is higher than that of other G8 countries. To what extent can this be attributed to immigration?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:47:08

 Moderator: Thabo, thank you for your question. The expert is working to get to it. His answer will appear under the post you made at 1:35.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:53:13

 Humaira Irshad: Hi, I want to know the release date of Farm population census 2011. Thanks.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 1:57:40

 Moderator: Humaira, thank you for your question. The first release from the 2011 Census of Agriculture, on Farm and farm operator data, was on May 10, 2012. You'll find what you're looking for here: 2011 Census of Agriculture.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:01:25

 Laurent Martel: We are still taking your questions! There are 30 minutes left!
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:00:40

 Humaira Irshad: And can we access that data (farm population) at Census Divisions and sub-divisional level. Thanks.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:02:15

 Moderator: Humaira, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, that subject is outside the expert's area of expertise. We will follow up with you by email in the following business days.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:03:45

 Humaira Irshad: Thank you.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:05:47

 Paul: How does this data compare to the demography data (estimates) that you had prior to the 2011 Census? Were there any surprises.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:06:05

 Laurent Martel: Not really. The age and sex distribution of the Canadian population changes slowly. Thus, data coming from the population estimates program show similar trends compared to census data. Remember, however, that the population estimates are adjusted to take into account census net undercoverage, so trends in specific age groups sometimes differ slightly. For example, the number of people 15 to 24 is often underestimated in the census as undercoverage for this age group is higher. Here is a link to a webpage with additional information of the differences between population estimates and census data: Detailed explanation: Differences between Statistics Canada's census counts and population estimates.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:11:51

 Kelly Mao: Are there any patterns to the age structure of CMA's and CD's? For example, some CMA/CD's have higher/lower average ages than others. What are some of the causes for this? I would imagine that for high-growth areas such as Edmonton/Calgary, average ages are lower due to its attractiveness to high-mobility of young workers (migration). Are there other factors that lead to a younger population in specific areas?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:08:34

 Laurent Martel: There are important differences in the age structures of CMAs. For instance, Edmonton and Calgary have around 1 in 10 people aged 65 and older, while Peterborough in Ontario and Trois-Rivières in Quebec have around 1 in 5 people aged 65 and older. Since the mid-1990s, Edmonton and Calgary have had an influx of working-age people from other parts of Canada and the world because of their booming economies. Also, Alberta has had, on average, a higher fertility rate than most other provinces. Another example is the Census Agglomeration of Wood Buffalo in Alberta, with 2% of people aged 65 and older. Wood Buffalo's economy is based on the oil sands.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:19:16

 Crystalcity: What sort of trend is there in the male/female dispersion across the country among working aged Canadians? Is there any correlation with industry sectors to those regions?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:10:13

 Laurent Martel: Yes. For example, there are some variations among provinces and territories in the working-age population. There are more males than females in Alberta among the working-age population: the sex ratio is 1.04 compared to the national average of 0.98 (more females than males). This is linked to the fact that Alberta attracts people from other regions of the country, and these people are often males looking to find jobs.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:15:36

 Paul: Thank you Laurent.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:13:55

 Laurent Martel: You're welcome!
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:15:50

 R Beshiri: Is the continuation of the city 'donut effect' still occurring? That is, people moving out of the centre of urban areas and moving to the periphery. You hinted at this I think with young people, but is it also occurring for all age groups?
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:17:57

 Laurent Martel: The pattern of urban spread is still visible in the 2011 Census data. You are right, results do show that the population is younger on the periphery of census metropolitan areas (CMA) and older in the centre of those CMAs. Suburbs are also usually growing faster than the centres of the CMAs. We will have more statistical information about the characteristics, including age, of those people moving when the National Household Survey data on mobility are released on June 26, 2013.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:22:59

 Laurent Martel: Only 10 minutes left!
Monday, June 4, 2012 2:20:42

 R Beshiri: Back to the 0-4 kids explosion...At this point can you tell if the mothers of these children were older (35+) or younger.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:29:04

 Laurent Martel: We cannot address this question using census data, but we could with vital statistics data. One thing we can say is that it is likely that the recent increase in the number of very young children in Canada is the result of two phenomena: first, an increase in fertility levels and second, an increase in the number of females in their prime childbearing years. Also, demographers think there is a tempo effect related to the increase: last call for Generation X (baby busters) who are moving into their 40s and Generation Y (children of baby boomers) who started their families earlier than Generation X. This has yet to be confirmed by more in-depth studies on the recent rise in total fertility rate in Canada, which also occurred in many other industrialized countries. Looking at age-specific fertility rates might be useful for you: Fertility rate by age group, Canada, 1926 to 2008.
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:36:47

 Laurent Martel: Thank you for all your questions and comments! It is 2:37 p.m. EDT, which means that the chat session is now over. If I didn't have a chance to respond to your question, I will follow-up by email in the next few days. The full transcript of this chat session will be made available on the website shortly. Have a great day. Laurent
Monday, June 4, 2012, 2:37:58

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