Baby boomers push retiree growth rate to highest in 70 years

The latest numbers from the 2016 census show the number of Canadians who are 65 or older grew 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016.

That's the largest increase in that demographic in 70 years, with seniors now making up 16.9 per cent of the national population.

Statistics Canada says nearly one in five people in the Atlantic provinces was 65 years of age and older, which is the highest proportion in the country.

The province with the lowest proportion of seniors was Alberta at 12.3 per cent, which represents a nearly 8 percent difference; the largest since Confederation.

Comparatively, less than 15 per cent of the population in Atlantic Canada are under the age of 15.

Waves of retiring baby boomers represent an urgent challenge for policymakers, planners and politicians, and Statistics Canada says the aging of the population is only going to accelerate over the decades ahead.

 

2016 Population demographics within Canada, the provinces, and the territories (via Statistics Canada)

Region Aged 14 and younger Aged 15 to 64 Aged 65 and older
Canada 16.6% 66.5% 16.9%
Newfoundland and Labrador 14.3% 66.2% 19.4%
Prince Edward Island 15.9% 64.7% 19.4%
Nova Scotia 14.5% 65.6% 19.9%
New Brunswick 14.8% 65.3% 19.9%
Quebec 16.3% 65.4% 18.3%
Ontario 16.4% 66.8% 16.7%
Manitoba 19.1% 65.4% 15.6%
Saskatchewan 19.6% 64.8% 15.5%
Alberta 19.2% 68.5% 12.3%
British Columbia 14.9% 66.9% 18.3%
Yukon 17.5% 70.6% 11.9%
Northwest Territories 21.2% 71% 7.7%
Nunavut 32.5% 63.7% 3.8%