Tilting Towards Aging

August 5, 2015 – 2015 represents an important milestone in the history of the Canadian population: for the first time, the number of seniors is exceeding the number of children.

The trend towards aging will also accentuate over time: by 2063, seniors could outnumber children 2 to 1.

Distribution of the total population by age group, observed (1921 to 2013) and projected (2014 to 2063)

These are two major findings from Population Projections for Canada, Province and Territories (2013-2063), released by Statistics Canada in May. Here are a few additional report highlights.

  • According to the various projection scenarios, the Canadian population would continue to increase over the next 50 years, from 35.2 million in 2013 to between 40.0 million (low-growth (L) scenario) and 63.5 million (high-growth (H) scenario) by 2063. Under the medium-growth (M1) scenario, the Canadian population would reach 51.0 million in 2063.
  • In all scenarios, migratory increase would be the main driver of population growth at the national level, continuing a pattern that began in the early 1990s.
  • The number of older seniors (aged 80 and over) would continue to increase rapidly in the coming years, particularly between 2026 and 2045 as the baby-boom cohort enters these ages. According to the projection scenarios, the population aged 80 and over would increase from 1.4 million in 2013 to between 4.0 million (scenario L) and 4.9 million (scenario H) by 2045, representing about 10% of the total Canadian population.

What do these demographic projections mean for performing arts organizations? There is no single straight answer, but the question will nonetheless be raised at the Western Arts Alliance Conference and at the CAPACOA Conference: CAPACOA and Arts Health BC will be co-presenting a session on Aging Audiences. If you can't wait until then to explore the issue, you may read this post on Arts and Aging on Barry's Blog and/or view this rapidly-evolving population pyramid.



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