Canada in 2060
Demographics, Immigration and FNMI- Minahil S.
A Questionable Future for Canada
Canada is a developed country with numerous metropolis cities and a thriving economic and social system. Each which functions on the present and future birth, death and immigration rates. Although, due to a large population decline (affecting each of the rates), the question arises, what will Canada look like in the year 2060?
Throughout the last few decades, we have recognised a notable change in Canada’s demographics. While excluding the post-war baby boom (1946-1965), the birth and death rates have been substantially declining and an increase in life expectancy for older adults (ages 65 and older) has been noted.
Canada is currently in Stage 4 of the Demographic Transition Model that includes a low birth and death rate and a slow/stable growth for the Natural Increase Rate. However, we are veering into Stage 5 and due to this are expecting to have very low birth rates and low death rates, meaning that the number of deaths will soon surpass the number of births. For the demography to change so drastically, a numerous amount of people would have decided to postpone or stop having children, but why? The current fertility rate (average number of children a women will have throughout her life) is 1.61 in Canada, lower than the average needed to replace the minor numbers of immigration to Canada. Due to the following reasons, many Canadian families and single women have decided to stop having children:
· Religious or cultural reasons (e.g families do not allow a woman to procreate without being married)
· Higher levels of education and being in school longer lessen the amount of time a women has to get pregnant and give birth
· Cost of raising and educating a child
· High infant mortality rate
· Better emerging job opportunities for women
· Abortion [could/can not supply for the child or raise them in a adequate household so they decide(d) to abort it instead]
The graph pictured above represents the previous infant fertility rates leading to our current one. During the years 1946 to around 1966, our birth rates were at an absolute high, this was due to the baby boom after World War II. Although, in 2011, during times of better health care, reliable food supply and family planning, the infant fertility rate was much lower (dropped by approximately 2.09 children) due to family planning and other factors influencing less births.
Since the beginning of the last century, the life expectancy for males and females has largely increased. Between the years 1926 to 2005, ages have increased by an approximate of 20.0 (male) and 22.7 (female) years respectively. In the future, life expectancy is assumed to increase in Canada notoriously in comparison to other parts of the world as the average lifespan in Canada is ranked one of the highest. Due to this larger amount of time to live, the death rate will be lowered correspondingly. Therefore, the Natural Increase Rate (NIR) will slowly decrease in a stable pattern because both the birth and death rate are low.
While observing this information, the question arises,"What does this mean for our economic and population growth?"
As previously mentioned, since our birth and death rates are low, we will have a larger older adult (65 years and older) and a small working class population. These older individuals in our population are called the dependant population. Since we will have a small number of people present in the working class population in 2060, they will not be able to substantially provide for the elderly. To further elucidate, we would need to provide an increasingly large wage for the adults to pay for healthcare, hospital bills, retirement homes, etc. of/for the elderly, although this would negatively impact our economy and would only cause a slow increase in our economic gains. However, several ways our population can still grow in the year 2060 is for a spontaneous amount of births, another baby boom or a large amount of arrival from younger families (family immigrants) and/or business immigrants (to help drive our economy further and keep business’s financially stable).
Demographic Dependancy Ratio
In the statistic above, we can observe a large increase in the population of the elderly between the years 2021 to 2056 in comparison to the number of youths in the population. This represents how the number of births is decreasing and aging population (dependants) are increasing.
Total Population and Median Age in Canada
The graphic above shows that as the years progress, the ratio of adults and youths in comparison to Canadians aged 65 years and older is getting smaller and the median age in Canada is drastically increasing. During the 1980’s, the median age was approximately 30 years old (due to bad healthcare, horrible sanitation and poor medical knowledge) although now (2015) the median age has increased to approx. 37 years old. Using this information, we can deduce that the total population will live longer and be older.
Canada will have an large population of seniors (25.5%) in comparison to the rest of the population. A projection of what the population may look like in the year 2061 (in the graphic).
Demographic Dependancy Ratio
Total Population and Median Age in Canada
Immigration and the Factors influencing Canada’s Population Growth
Immigration is one of the most principal themes in Canadian history; it is the prime factor that drives our economic and social growth forward. In Canada, there are three main types of immigrants that are the cause of these growths:
· Family immigrants: residents living in another country who are sponsored by a relative (must be a Canadian citizen) to move to Canada.
· Business immigrants: skilled workers, investors or entrepreneurs. They must be able to help Canada develop and the immediate family (children and spouse) of the immigrant are allowed to immigrate with them. To be deemed eligible to immigrate, you must score 67 points or higher on the point system (a system used to govern who can/cannot immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker).
· Refugees: people who fear cruel treatment due to their race, social and cultural beliefs or are escaping war, economic downfall, etc. and choose to immigrate to Canada.
Since 1991, approximately 250,000 individuals immigrate to Canada annually. An abundant amount of them arrive from China, the Philippines, India, Pakistan and the United States of America. Additionally, due to the large amount of Syrian refugees (approximately 25,000 people) who are emigrating from Syria to Canada, we will have a larger intake of immigrants. Although, while observing recent and previous indicators about jobs, housing and education in Canada, we have to question how we can supply equally for all these people to guarantee their safety and financial stability while living in Canada.
New immigrants often get jobs that they are over-qualified for; they take up positions that many young adults or less experienced citizens should be taking. Therefore, they cannot make enough money to support themselves (and their families) and may end up homeless and unable to buy necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, etc. If Canada minimized it’s annual intake of immigrants and allowed their current citizens from different countries to use their qualifications in Canada to get a better job, we may benefit economically and socially as a whole. However, due to the fact that we have a larger dependant population than younger and working class population, more business immigrants should be accepted so that we can supply for healthcare, retirement homes, etc. of the elderly.
I believe most of our immigrants will keep steadily arriving from Asia, Europe and African countries. In the past five years, the majority of immigrants (56.9%) arrived from Asia whereas before 1971, European migrants made up 78.3% of settlers to Canada. This is due to the fact that Europe is now a highly developed continent, therefore, many European settlers decide to continue living there. Whereas Asian countries such as India or Pakistan are newly developing, hence, many Asian immigrants decide that immigrating to Canada holds better opportunities for themselves and their families. Canada’s current pull factors that help immigrants decide to move are:
· Universal healthcare
· Freedom from war or economic depression
· Multicultural (many ethnic enclaves for immigrants from various backgrounds)
· No language/religious barrier, free education (until high school)
· High standard of living and education
· Incentives offered by the government
· Allowed to practice your own religion and customs safely
Whereas, the push factors that enable someone to want to leave their country of origin could be war (e.g. Syrian refugees who are immigrating to Canada were in the midst of a Civil War where roughly 250,000 people died), lack of jobs, natural disasters, wanting a better life for themselves or their children or bad education and housing facilities.
How will immigration change in the year 2060?
I predict that in 2060, the immigration rate will be moderately high, around 100,000 to 150,000 immigrants. This is due to the fact that many countries that are now deemed as “newly developing/developed” may become fully developed in the large time frame that they are given between 2016 and 2060. Although, Canada may also veer into Stage 5 of the DTM (Demographic Transition Model) and due to this the birth/death rate will continue to stay very low. Immigrants may not want to settle in Canada because the residents who are living there in 2060 will be the dependant population, consequently, the working class population (which would include the immigrants) would be continuously providing for the elderly with their taxes.
Those who decide to settle in Canada will perchance live in prairie provinces such as Saskatchewan, Alaska, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. The number of residents settling in these areas rose from 9% in 1999 to 19% in 2009. Manitoba received 5.4% of immigrants in 2009 (rose from 2.0% in 1999), Saskatchewan greeted 2.7% (rose from 0.9%) and Alberta acquired 10.7% of immigrants (rose from 6.4%) as seen from Statistics Canada.
The figure above shows where many immigrants who settle in Canada come from (country of origin). Before 1971, many residents were of European background, whereas, during the years 2006-2011, roughly, 57% of immigrants were Asian.
In the image above, we can observe really happy Canadian immigrants.
Where do Canada’s immigrants come from?
As seen in the graphic above, a numerous amount of Canadian immigrants come from Asia and South America.
Canada is regarded as an astonishingly progressive and multicultural country that respects all religions, background, sexes and beliefs and openly abolishes racism. Despite the open-minded stance that Canada has on racism and other necessary human rights for it’s citizens, why is it still mistreating the First Nations people?
First Nations are descendants of the Aboriginal peoples who originally vacated certain areas in Canada before their land was taken away from them by European settlers or traded away at an unfair price. First Nations themselves have dealt with a fair share of exploitation and abuse from the Canadian government as well. After Aboriginals would sell their land, in exchange, they would be given a smaller area of land titled a “reserve” where they could fish, hunt and live their traditional way of life. There are 901,053 Status Indians living in Canada, of these First Nations, 47.4% live off reserve and the additional 52.6% live on reserves.
A Status-Indian is a First Nation, Métis or Inuit person (FNMI) that has been recognized as the identity that they conform with by the government, whereas a Non-Status Indian is a person who identifies himself/herself as an FMNI but cannot provide substantial information to the government to prove their personal identity.
From forced relocations to residential schools, Canada’s horrid history with First Nations, Métis and Inuit’s has not ended yet, although, the new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made several commitments to renew the relationship with FNMI people. In his speech, Trudeau said, “It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations peoples, one that understands that the constitutionally guaranteed rights of First Nations in Canada are not an inconvenience but rather a sacred obligation." The Prime Minister promised to:
• Launch a national public investigation into the missing and murdered indigenous women (which is already underway).
• Make substantial investments in FNMI education.
• Abolish all legislation unlawfully inflicted on indigenous people by the previous government.
While understanding and knowing the current harsh lifestyle of indigenous people in Canada, what should we expect in the year 2060?
Throughout the years towards 2060, there are two different possibilities of what may occur. The Aboriginals could finally live in agreement and bliss with the non-indigenous people due to a change in the regulations and government that surrounded them (they could be allowed to monitor/manage their own personal affairs) or over time, their situation could get even worse due to a necessary expansion if more immigrants settle in Canada over time. Additionally, if more immigrants do migrate to Canada, the treaties and rights of the Aboriginals could be easily evaded or postponed due to the Canadian government caring more about their present economy and new immigrants. Change will only occur if enough people demand for it. If there is no response, the First Nations community that we have may not survive or be able to provide for their children/families due to neglect.
The Life of an Aboriginal: Education, Housing and Mental Health
In the video above titled, “11 facts about the gap between First Nations and the rest of Canada," we can observe that the lifestyle for Aboriginals and non-indigenous people is extremely different.
Half of First Nations children live are poverty-stricken, with rates reaching roughly 64% of children in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. These children are more likely to grow up in dangerous communities surrounded by violence, substance abuse, bad healthcare and overcrowded housing systems.
Many Aboriginal children and their parents thrive for a stable system of education; however, schools do not receive enough funding from the government to continue teaching students. When comparing First Nations schools and Provincial schools, we note that the indigenous people do not and are not receiving the necessary funding needed to support their schools whereas Provincial schools are receiving more than enough to continue their ongoing teaching.
Therefore, not only do Aboriginal children grow up in a hazardous and unsafe environment, they are also prone to not getting needed education. Due to the reasons listed above, native children are at a higher risk of dropping out of school and have a higher rate of teen suicides in comparison to non-Native Canadians.
(Explanation of Figure 1 in depth)
What Challenges may Canada face?
Countries that are known to be successful have three things that support them in remaining a futile and efficient society: demographics, government and economy. In the year 2060, Canada will have a numerous amount of elderly and a collapsing economy due to labour shortages (less citizens that are employed and working). Additionally, Canada may experience harsh backlash from the First Nations (and other Aboriginal communities) if it continues to neglect their bands, offer no assistance from the government or doesn’t allow them freedom from discriminatory rights.
In upcoming years, the only method in which Canada can increase its population is immigration because it cannot replace its population naturally (low fertility rate and high infant mortality rate). Although, immigrants may not want to migrate to Canada as their countries of origin are expanding and developing, therefore, they do not find it essential to move from their original homes.
How will my Life be Different in 2060 from that of my Parents?
Canada in 2060: Minahil S. by akotla
To conclude, Canada is an exquisite country that thrives on multiculturalism and change. However, we currently have a declining population due to low birth rates and a large community of elderly replacing our working class population and young children. Additionally, without further support and funding from the Canadian government, the First Nations population will slowly deteriorate as well. Many predictions based on demographics and immigration have been made about Canada’s future, although as a whole, it is the countries’ choice to analyze these projections and make Canada astounding again.
Paul Russell. "Today’s Letters: What Is the Biggest Issue Facing Canada?" National Post. 5 Mar. 2012. Web. 17 Mar. 2016. <http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/todays-letters-what-is-the-biggest-issue-facing-canada>.
Toronto Mike. "How Many Canadian Women Choose Not to Have Children?" Toronto Mike. 24 Jan. 2010. Web.
Canada, Statistics. "Fertility: Fewer Children, Older Moms." Statistics Canada. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. <http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-630-x/11-630-x2014002-eng.htm>.
Harris, Misty. "‘Domestic Dream’ of 2.5 Children per Woman Long Gone as Fertility Rate Declines for Third Year in Row." National Post. 9 July 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. <http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/domestic-dream-of-2-5-children-per-woman-long-gone-as-fertility-rate-declines-for-third-year-in-row>.
Baklinski, Thaddeus. "Canada’s Birthrate Falls for 3rd Year in a Row, to 1.61." Life Site. 11 July 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. <https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/canadas-birthrate-falls-for-3rd-year-in-a-row-to-161>.
Gilmore, Scott. "Why It’s Time for Canada to Grow up." Maclean's. 1 Oct. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://www.macleans.ca/uncategorized/why-its-time-for-canada-to-grow-up/>.
"Immigration Rate Observed (1951/1952 to 2008/2009) and Projected (2009/2010 to 2035/2036) According to Three Assumptions, Canada." Statistics Canada. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-520-x/2010001/ct033-eng.htm>.
Canada, Statistics. "Ethnic Diversity and Immigration." Statistics Canada. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-402-x/2012000/chap/imm/imm-eng.htm>.
Hutchings, Claire. "Canada’s First Nations: A Legacy of Institutional Racism." Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <http://www.tolerance.cz/courses/papers/hutchin.htm>.
"Http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2013/07/19/canada_must_admit_aboriginal_maltreatment_to_start_anew_editorial.html." Thestar. 19 July 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2013/07/19/canada_must_admit_aboriginal_maltreatment_to_start_anew_editorial.html>.
Susana Mas. "Trudeau Lays out Plan for New Relationship with Indigenous People." Cbcnews. 8 Dec. 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/justin-trudeau-afn-indigenous-aboriginal-people-1.3354747>.
Tamsin McMahon. "Why Fixing First Nations Education Remains so Far out of Reach." Maclean's. 22 Aug. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/why-fixing-first-nations-education-remains-so-far-out-of-reach/>.
Cohen, Tobi. "Newcomers Increasingly Prefer the Prairies as Their New Home, Survey Finds." National Post. 8 May 2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2016. <http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/prairies-becoming-preferred-home-for-newcomers-survey-finds>.