Canada in 2050

By Daniel Liang

Introduction

Canada is constantly changing. In 36 years, our lives will not be the same. We will look at how the demography, immigrants and First Nations communities will change in 2050 compared to today. You may be surprised.

Canada Today

Demography

Here are some demographic stats of Canada:

Life Expectancy: 81.57 years

Birth Rate: 10.28 births per 1,000 people

Death Rate: 8.2 deaths per 1,000 people

Children per Woman: 1.59

Net Migration Rate: 5.65 (immigrants - emigrants)

Population Growth Rate: 0.77%

Urban Population: 81%, growing by 1.1% per year


Canada has a high life expectancy, love birth rate, low death rate, and high urban population, which is typical for a fully developed country.

The population pyramid of Canada shows a large number of people aged 50 - 54 (baby boomers) with a relatively small base. This indicates a low birth rate and a developed country. The baby boomers (born in the decades after World War II) make up large portion of the work force and are an important part of the economy. However, they are nearing retirement.

Immigration

The main pull factors for immigrants today are high standard of living, better job opportunities and better education.


This table shows the top countries that immigrants come from and how much of the total immigrant population they make up.

The most population settlement locations for immigrants are Toronto, Ontario (30% of total population), Montreal, Quebec (18.1%) and Vancouver, British Columbia (11.4%)

First Nations

Issues


The Government of Canada has made a formal apology to the First Nations for the Residential Schools in 2008 and is working with First Nations groups to achieve mutual respect regardless of culture and build stronger First Nations communities (Statistics Canada). However, James Anaya, a UN expert on indigenous rights, says that Canada is facing a crisis over Aboriginal issues, mainly disputes over land and natural resources. The most recent dispute are protests against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick, opposed by the Elsipogtog First Nation. Anaya also said that the Aboriginals live in much poorer conditions that the rest of the Canadian population, even though Canada is the first country to extend constitutional protection to the rights of Aboriginals (indigenous people), taken prominent steps to repair past injustices and has developed comprehensive land claims. One in five Aboriginals live in dilapidated (old and damaged) and overcrowded houses. The suicide rate is also five times higher than the rest of Canada. (CTV News).

In this video, James Anaya explains how Canada faces a crisis in Aboriginal issues and what steps could be taken to resolve these issues.

Demography


There are 1,400,685 Aboriginal people in Canada as of 2011, which is 4.3% of the Canadian population. They live mostly in Ontario and western provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia). The Aboriginal people are split into three main catagories: First Nations (60.8% of Aboriginal population), Métis (32.3%) and Inuit (4.2%). 51% of Aboriginal people now live in urban areas, mostly in Winnipeg (78,420), Edmonton (61,765), Vancouver (52,375), Toronto (36,995), Calgary (33,370), Ottawa-Gatineau (30,570), Montreal (26,280), Saskatoon (23,895), and Regina (19,785). The rest of them live on reserves, which is land for a specific aboriginal group set by the Indian Act, or other remote areas.


The following map shows the regions with a majority First Nation population in brown and Inuit in magenta.

Since 1971, the Aboriginal population has been growing significantly more than the rest of Canada. This may be due to fertility, migration and legislative changes. However, the population growth is varied among Aboriginal groups.

The population of Aboriginals is young compared to other ethnic groups in Canada. 28% of Aboriginals are under the age of 14, and make up 7% of all children in Canada, compared to 16.5% of other ethnic groups under the age of 14.

Treaties and Self-Government


Comprehensive land claims are modern treaties and agreements negotiated in areas of Canada that are not covered previous treaties. They are made between Aboriginal groups, Canada and the province. These treaties usually include things such as land ownership, money, wildlife harvesting rights, participation in land, resource, water, wildlife and environmental management as well as measures to promote economic development and protect Aboriginal culture. The first of these modern-day treaties was the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, signed in 1975. To date, the federal government has settled 15 comprehensive claims with Aboriginal people in Canada.


Since different Aboriginal groups have different necessities (traditions, lifestyle, spiritual, etc.) they have expressed a need for self government. This allows them to control their internal affairs and assume greater responsibility and control over the decision making that affects their communities. The Government of Canada is negotiating self-government and land claim agreements. So far, 20 comprehensive self-government agreements recognizing a wide range of Aboriginal jurisdictions that involve 34 Aboriginal communities across Canada have been made.

Canada in 2050

Demography

The estimated population of Canada in 2050 is about 40 million (Canadian Geographic). The death rate will decrease steadily as technology and healthcare progresses as usual. However, the birth rate is expected to drop more than the death rate, leading to natural decrease (Statistics Canada, Population Growth). This is because people are deciding to have fewer children as the standard of living improves. The life expectancy will increase from 81.57 years to about 85 years (Bank of Canada). The general population of Canada will age, with 25% of the projected population over the age of 65. High life expectancy, low mortality rate combined with a low birth rate will cause the population pyramid to shift upwards, with a widening top and a narrowing base.


The following picture shows the population pyramid of Canada in 2010 on the right, and 2050 on the left.

Immigration

Most of Canada’s population growth in 2050 will be from immigrants, as the birth rate will be very low. The immigrants will be from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Over 50% of the population will be from visible minorities and immigrants. Some analyst believe that the immigrants will adopt prevailing social values and assimilate into Canadian culture in a “melting pot”, forming a more homogeneous society instead of a “mosaic” multicultural society (Canadian Geographic). As the population of Canada ages, more people will retire from jobs. Immigrants will be needed to keep the economy strong.

First Nations

The Aboriginal birth rate is much higher than the rest of Canada. Their population has increased by 487% from 312,800 to 1,836,000 in the past 40 years. Although the birth rate is beginning to level off, the population of Aboriginal population in 2050 could be 7,344,000. More Aboriginals are choosing to live in cities instead of sparsely populated reserves and northern regions. In 2050, it may be common to see Aboriginals in urban areas. Aboriginals will continue to resist assimilation and assert social and economic positions appropriate to their traditional values (Canadian Geographic). Canada is working on relations with Aboriginals and passing comprehensive claims and self-government treaties. Hopefully, in 2050, there will be no more major conflicts with Aboriginal groups.

How our lives will change

The following is a audio podcast from Soundcloud about life in 2050.

dkl65

Life in Canada in 2050 by dkl65

Conclusion

In 36 years, the population of Canada will be older, immigrants will make up the majority of the population and most of the population growth, and First Nations will continue to resist assimilation. New technology in the medical field, industry and at home will transform our lives and green energy will be widespread. That is how Canada will look like in 2050.

Works Cited

Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Statistics Canada, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-011-x/99-011-x2011001-eng.cfm>.


Boivin, Jean. Aging Gracefully: Canada’s Inevitable Demographic Shift. Bank of Canada, 4 Apr. 2012. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.bankofcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/remarks-040412.pdf>.


Canada 2050. Canadian Geographic, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas/themes.aspx?id=canada2050&lang=En>.


Canaian Demographics at a Glance. Statistics Canada, 25 Jan. 2008. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-003-x/2007001/4129904-eng.htm>.


De Wulf, Martin. Population Pyramid of Canada in 2050. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://populationpyramid.net/canada/2050/>.


Facts and figures 2012 – Immigration overview: Permanent and temporary residents. AANDC, 7 Aug. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/facts2012/permanent/10.asp>.


First Nations in Canada. AANDC, 21 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1307460755710/1307460872523#chp6>.


Harris, Cole. Reserves. The University of British Columbia, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/government-policy/reserves.html>.


Issue: First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Mental Heath Commission of Canada, n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/issues/first-nations-inuit-and-m%C3%A9tis?routetoken=942ef132d87cd257fb3aeff3e8dd24e9&terminitial=59>.


Olson, Alexandra. Canada faces 'crisis' over aboriginal issues, Anaya tells the UN. CTV News, 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/canada-faces-crisis-over-aboriginal-issues-anaya-tells-the-un-1.1507495>.


The World Factbook. CIA, 11 Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2014. <http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/politics/archives/2013/10/20131015-144634.html>.