|Facts & Figures: Aging in Canada and the World||To Aging theme page|
2. Nice to Know
Canada, as many other countries, is experiencing a rapid aging of the population. The trend will accelerate over the coming years, as the "baby boomers", born after World War II, reach retirement age.
Year Number of Canadians Aged 65 + Percentage of Total Population 1851 65,000 2.7% 1901 272,000 5.1% 1951 1,09 million 7.75% 1998 3.7 million 12.3% 2016 5.9 million 15.9% 2021 6.9 million 17.8% 2041 9.7 million 22.6%
The demographic trend reflects a combination of overall population growth (although birth rates have fallen to around the replacement rate), immigration patterns and greater longevity.
Life expectancy at birth in Canada has risen steadily:
1920 58.8 60.6 1950 66.4 70.9 1980 71.9 79.1 1990 73.9 80.5 2000 77.0 82.1
The women seem to be gaining faster than the men; gender ratios in 1991 indicated that that there were about 100 women for every 44 men aged 85+ : a lot of widows.
- In 2001, the median age of Canada's population reached an all-time high of 37.6 years, up 2.3 years from 35.3 in 1996. This was the biggest census-to-census increase in a century.
- The working-age population is also increasingly made up of older individuals. The population aged 45 to 64 increased 35.8% from 1991 to 2001, as a result of the entry of baby boomers into this age group. It is projected to grow an additional 30% by 2011, when nearly one-third of the population will be aged 45 to 64.
- From 1991 to 2001, the population aged 80 and over increased 41.2% to 932,000. It is expected to increase an additional 43% from 2001 to 2011, by which time it will have surpassed an estimated 1.3 million.
- Trois-Rivières has the oldest population, with a median age of 41.2 years, an increase of 3.6 years from 1996. Victoria is the second oldest. Saskatoon has the youngest population (34.4 years).
- This aging trend forms part of a major demographic change in the world - it has been called "the biggest demographic upheaval in history" - which will have major economic and health implications. A wonderful summary from the IMF, called "Booms, Busts and Echoes", is given by David Bloom and David Canning.
Link to National Advisory Council on Aging web page: information on seniors in Canada.
There's a feast of information on Seniors' Info from the Ontario Seniors' Secretariat; the site gives basic demographic information, plus data on lifestyles and a range of health conditions.
End of life care; Palliative care
3. Additional Information
World Data on Aging
The number of elderly people in the world is expected to increase from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025 (WHO figures). Here are the percentages of the population aged 65+ in selected regions of the world:
1950 1970 1990 (2025) Africa 3.2 3.1 3.0 4.1 Latin America 3.3 3.9 4.8 8.6 North America 8.1 9.6 12.5 19.9 Asia 4.0 4.0 5.0 9.6 Europe 8.7 11.4 13.4 20.1 Oceania 7.5 7.3 9.0 13.9 USSR 6.1 7.4 9.6 14.8 World 5.1 5.4 6.2 9.7
Incidentally, many European countries have already undergone this aging of the population. Here is a picture showing the declining birth and death rates in Spain during the past century. The decline in death rates preceded the decline in births, giving a natural population growth until about 1990; the decline in both rates means that the population is aging, and the fact that the two rates are now virtually identical means that natural population growth has ceased.
Just for fun, here are the resulting proportions of elderly men and women in Spain (thanks to Dr. Francisco Guillen Llera for the data)
Links Institutional care in Canada; Merck Manual of Geriatrics
Declining years - Period when you can decline all invitations to dull parties by pretending to be too old and feeble.THE SENILITY PRAYER
Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.