Canada Today VS Canada in 2060

By Maha Mustafa

Do you ever wonder what Canada will be like in the next 35 years?

At an all time low birth rate, a void in the workplace and far from perfect relationship with the Aboriginals, I have difficulty discerning how such concerns will be resolved in the future. Will population growth continue to slow? Given Canada's aging population, can we sustain healthcare, pensions and other benefits? Will immigration reverse this trend? Although I can't time-travel my hopeful truths back to you, I have incorporated a clear understanding of the current changes and challenges facing Canada's demography, immigration and the FMNI community in this infographic.

Current Population Trends

The Canadian Population is Aging

The most recent population projection shows that the proportion of elderly has exceeded the proportion of children, a historic first because of the arrival of baby-boomers at age 65.
  • In 2011, the median age in Canada was 39.9 years, meaning that half of the population was older than that, and half was younger
  • The demographic dependency ratio for seniors in 2006 was just over 5 working age-persons (aged 15 to 64 years) for each retired person (aged 65 years and over)

Low Birth Rates

Developed countries have a low fertility and Canada is no exception. Statistics Canada shows we haven’t met the population replacement level of roughly 2.1 children per woman since 1971, with only approximately 1.6 children per woman as our current average. Although Canadian's ideal mean number of kids is actually 2.7, there are many factors holding the woman back including:
  • financial constraints since raising one child to the age of 18 will cost approximately $300 000
  • women are too busy with education which makes them start families even later in life, leaving less time to have more kids
  • workplaces often discourage children because there is only a 55% wage replacement while on maternity leave, only 6% of Canadian business provide women of child care and only 36% offer flexible work schedules

Low Death Rates

Stage 4 of the Demographic transition model promises low but stable death rates and again Canada abides with only 8.31 deaths per 1000 people. This is because of many obvious reasons such as:
  • availability of healthcare
  • proper hygiene
  • availability of fresh drinking water
  • political stability
  • advanced technology
  • cures
  • social security
  • medicine
All of these factors add to a higher life expectancy which statistically, grew drastically throughout the twentieth century. Between 1926 and 2005, males gained 20.0 additional years of life, while females gained an additional 22.7 years. In Canada, 84% of males and 90% of females reach at least age 65 and along with the lowest infant mortality rate ever recorded, 5.4 per 1000 births, it's no wonder why Canada has such low death rates.
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key predictions of the population in 2060

In 2060, Canada will have reached Stage 5 of the model and following its predictions, our death rates will increase until they're higher than the already low birth rates and there will be a slow natural decrease. This high death rate will be the effect of the baby-boomers aging and dying. It is already estimated that by 2036, a quarter of our population will be above 65 years old and there will be a 50 seniors for every 100 workers by 2056.

How will this higher dependency load affect Canada?

  • Higher demand for elderly facilities such as retirement homes and hospitals
  • Higher taxes to support the elderly
  • Low birth rates will leave fewer people to support the growing population of the post-reproductive group
  • More workers will be hired in the healthcare industry to take care of them
  • Businesses that specialize in baby products will suffer because of the fewer children born
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Current immigration Trends

Asia, The Largest Source of Immigrants

Canada's immigrant population reported close to 200 countries as a place of birth in 2011. On a regional basis, Asia (including the Middle East) remained Canada's largest source of immigrants between 2006 and 2011.

  • Among all recent immigrants, roughly 661,600 or 56.9% came from Asia
  • The three countries that most emigrate from are China, India and the Philippines
  • This is because a lot of Asia is overcrowded and/or underdeveloped. People emigrate from there to avoid poverty and for better opportunities.

The Four Provinces that Attract Immigrants

In 2011 it became obvious that the vast majority (94.8%) of Canada's foreign-born population were attracted to four provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta. Seeing as immigration makes up most of Canada, these provinces accounted for 83.7% of individuals who were born in Canada.

Number of people migrating to the following provinces each year in 2013:

  • British Columbia - 36 210
  • Alberta - 36 636
  • Quebec - 51 983
  • Ontario - 103 494

Therefore, Ontario is the most popular destination in Canada, making it the most multicultural province in the country.

Immigrants usually choose these provinces based on their climate and job opportunities.

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Pull Factors of Canada

A few example of things that potential immigrants may be attracted to in Canada are:
  • free healthcare
  • better economy
  • more job opportunities
  • religious freedom
  • democratic government
  • diversity
  • better education

key predictions of canada's immigration trends in 2060

Immigration already plays a huge role in Canada's population but by 2060, we will be placed in the top three for the highest net migration rate. Many more will continue to emigrate from Asia due to poverty, lack of jobs, inequality, and Ontario will still be the most popular province so what will change?
  • In the future, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta will become overcrowded due to all the attraction by the labor deficit
  • Our economy will further improve
  • Our taxes will reduce because there will be more people and a larger tax paying base
  • More diversity with more places of worship and people that speak a common language
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FMNI current trends

High Fertility Rates

In general, Aboriginals numbers increase more rapidly than the rest of Canada's population, partly owing to their high fertility. In 2001, the total fertility rate was 3.4 children per woman for Inuit and 2.9 and 2.2 children per woman for North American Indians and Métis. The high birth rate is because of the same reasons as any other developing area:
  • Poor education
  • Women have no careers
  • No contraception
  • They need many children to work land or other chores
  • High infant mortality rates so women have more babies to ensure enough babies survive
  • In some communities, large families give status

High Death Rates

Forming the population pyramid, Aboriginals have very high death rates leaving the top of the pyramid with less people in the post-reproductive stage.
  • The life expectancy for males is 68.9 years and 76.6 years for females but this is still about 9 years shorter than the Canadian average for men, and 5 years shorter for women
  • This is because pf poverty, poor food supply, poor hygiene and lack of healthcare

In the chart below, the different population growth is evident between the FMNI community and the rest of Canadians. You can see the higher percentage of kids within the Aboriginals vs the non-Aboriginals and the fewer Aboriginals in the post-reproductive age group.

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Urban Migration

The Aboriginal population is the most rural of Canada however recently, there has been a huge migration of First Nations away from reservations to urban centers but why?

  • There is a lack of economic opportunity in or near reserves and other remote Aboriginal communities
  • They feel that it is important for Aboriginals to have a strong presence in the cities and an Aboriginal representative in every head office
  • Need education to apply for jobs


Currently, the Aboriginals' growth rate is very high and soon the community will undergo one of two situations: grow in size until the reserves become overcrowded or enter the next stage in the demographic transition model and become more educated in contraception and healthcare for the outcome of less births and longer lives. I believe in the first option.

  • Already 55% of Aboriginals live in poverty and the number will only go higher as time goes on. This will only lead to more babies since kids will have a lesser chance of survival.
  • In the future, the cost of living will only increase and the education will become too expensive for the Aboriginals. This leads to less job opportunities until Aboriginals stay and overpopulate in the small reserves
  • The death rate will remain high because the community will still be uneducated about healthcare and the more people living in a small area, the higher the chance of a disease or illness spreading

However, with these statistics and conflicts in mind, Canada might update the Indian Act so that Aboriginals can keep their land and express their culture. This will limit future challenges and better our economy

Aboriginal Issues in Canada
In conclusion, for Canada to be successful in Stage 5 of the demographic transition model, we need to thoroughly anticipate these challenges and keep our minds open to the potential futures facing us all. We need to prepare for the older population, increase in immigration and make peace with the Aboriginals. Like Joe Friesen said: "Canada is at a demographic peak, but the descent will be swift and steep."


"A Brief Overview of Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada, 2011 NHS."YouTube. Statistics Canada, 08 May 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <>.

"Population and Demography." Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <>.

"Push and Pull Factors." O Canada. 5 May 2011. Web. 4 Mar 2015. <>

"Dependency Ratio." Dependency Ratio. Web. 4 Mar. 2015. <>.

Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency. Web. 4 Mar 2015.<

"Canadians in Context - Aboriginal Population." Employment and Social Development Canada, n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2014. <>.

Allemang, John. "Canada in 2050? Future's so Bright . . . You Know the Rest." The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail, 24 Sept. 2010. Web. 13 Mar. 2015. <>.

Harris, Misty. "'Domestic Dream' of 2.5 Children per Woman Long Gone as Fertility Rate Declines for Third Year in Row." National Post Domestic Dream of 25 Children per Woman Long Gone as Fertility Rate Declines for Third Year Inrow Comments. National Post, 9 July 2013. Web. 13 Mar. 2015. <>