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Challenges and Implications Facing Canada as New Census Data Shows Seniors Now Outnumber Children

May 03, 2017

New Statistics Canada data shows that for the first time ever, seniors now outnumber children in Canada. The Conference Board of Canada has been sounding the alarm on the impact of these changing demographics for years. Our body of research examining what an aging population might mean for Canada is large. The reports below focus on the impact on Canada’s economy, the health care system, and the transportation infrastructure.


“Looking forward, business, governments and Canadians need to open the dialogue on the implications of an aging population. Balancing the short-, medium-, and long-term priorities as the baby boomer cohort ages and needs evolve should be a priority,”

Photo of  Louis Thériault
Public Policy

“Today’s Census results show the graying of the Canadian population, which will have far reaching consequences for the economy and society. For example, economies grow either because you have more workers or use workers more productively. So, today’s release highlights the need to get our immigration policies right and provide domestic workers with the strongest skill possible to support future economic growth and tax revenues to pay for social priorities, like health care,”

Craig Alexander
Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist
The Conference Board of Canada


  • In A Long-Term View of Canada’s Changing Demographics, we look at the impact an aging population will have on the Canadian economy and long-term policy planning. As the large Baby Boom cohort ebbs out of the workforce into retirement, economic growth will slow. At the same time, costs will increase significantly for public services, including health care and Old Age Security (OAS).

  • Our Future Care for Canadian Seniors research series examines the challenges facing the Canadian health care system in the context of an aging population. Our forecasts indicate that by 2026, over 2.4 million Canadians age 65+ will require paid and unpaid continuing care supports—up 71 per cent from 2011. By 2046, this number will reach nearly 3.3 million.

  • As Canadian seniors are largely car-dependent, meeting their mobility needs, while minimizing safety risks becomes more challenging. Our report, Managing Mobility: Transportation in an Aging Society, found that Canada is ill-prepared to keep an aging population moving.


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Photo of Craig Alexander Craig Alexander
Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist

Craig Alexander brings over 19 years of experience in the private sector as an economic and financial forecaster to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. He oversees the Board’s macro-economic outlook products, custom economic and tourism research.

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