Canada’s population has grown from 3.5 million in 1867 to more than 35 million as we approach our 150th birthday in 2017. Looking ahead, how many Canadians will there be at the next anniversary, or even in 2100?
Population is more than just a fact or a trivia question—demographics are perhaps the most potent force shaping the country’s future. An aging population will have significant implications for the Canadian economy and long-term policy planning. As the baby boomers move into retirement, economic growth will slow—while costs for public services health care and Old Age Security will increase significantly.
An increase in immigration levels is one of the options available to governments to potentially offset the negative effect of an aging population on the economy. The federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth itself has made increasing annual immigration levels from 300,000 per year to 450,000 over the next five years.
In this 60 minute webinar, Matthew Stewart will describe how different levels of immigration could shape Canada’s demographic and economic future, including:
- Canada’s overall population—could there be 100 million Canadians by 2100?
- Long-term economic outlook due to demographic change—how much growth does immigration add to the Canadian economy over time?
- Impact of demographic change on public spending—does a higher population increase or decrease the amount required to fund health and social services?
This webinar is based on research conducted by The Conference Board of Canada. The analysis generates long-term population scenarios based on differing assumptions centred on immigration and fertility rates. These assumptions shape the size and age structure of the population, which affects the outlook for the Canadian economy and, in turn, governments’ fiscal resources to pay for public spending programs.