Baby boomers now make up less than a quarter of the population

According to Statistics Canada’s work using data from the most recent census, the baby boomers, who made up 41.7% of Canada’s population in 1966, now make up just 24.9% of the population, or the equivalent of 9,212,640 people, all between 1946 and were born in 1965.

The baby boomer demographic fell by 3.1% between 2016 and 2021.

This is the first time in 56 years that the baby boomer demographic weight has fallen below 25%, mainly due to higher mortality associated with their age group, but also because they are past the age when immigrants arrive in large numbers in the country arrive .

Immigration is therefore no longer an important factor in the growth of this generation.points out Statistics Canada.

An aging Canada

The high life expectancy and low fertility rate in Canada means that the Canadian population is aging. From 2016 to 2021, the proportion of people over 65 increased by 18.3% to 7 million people.

The number of people aged 65 and over has grown six times faster than children aged 0-14. »

A quote from Extract from The Daily, Statistics Canada

While Canada welcomes many immigrants, their arrival in the country is not enough to reverse this serious trend, the latest demographic data shows.

In 2021, more than 861,000 people aged 85 and over lived in the country, double the number in the 2001 census.

Overall, the population is youngest in the western provinces and territories of Canada, while it is oldest in the Atlantic. In fact, Newfoundland and Labrador has seen the fastest increase in the proportion of people over 65 (+4.2 percentage points).

In Quebec, people aged 65 and over make up 20.6% of the population, or more than 1 in 5 people.

Rapid growth of millennials

While baby boomers are slowly giving way to younger generations, those known as Millennials, or Generation Y, are the fastest growing demographics in the country.

Millennials (Y) born between 1981 and 1996 saw 8.6% growth in their age group between 2016 and 2021, compared to 5.2% for the general population over the same period.

We owe this growth in millennial demographic weight largely to immigration, explains Statistics Canada, which indicates that more than half of the immigrants welcomed to the country between 2016 and 2021 were millennials, i.e. people between the ages of 25 and 40 years.

In 2021, there were 7,926,575 Millennials or 33.2% of the working-age population in Canada.

Generation Z, also known as Zoomers.

Photo: iStock

They are highly urbanized and accounted for 35.1% of the city center population of major urban agglomerations in the country in 2021.

From one generation to the next

Generation X, which includes people aged 41 to 55 and numbered 7,069,355 at the last census, grew by 2.3% between 2016 and 2021.

The Z group aged 9 to 24 increased by 6.4% over the same period. This is the second-highest population growth observed among any generation, Statistics Canada reports.

Generation Alpha, aged 8 or younger, numbered 3,194,415 in 2021. It is the only generation that benefits from fertility to increase its populationnote the statisticians.

Among the oldest, the grandiose generation (94 years and older) as well as the interwar generation (76 to 93 years), their demographic weight gradually decreases over the years due to their increasing age, but also because immigration is no longer a growth factor for them .

The grandiose generation, which numbered 135,560 people in 2021, shows a 67.2% decrease in its demographic weight compared to 2016, while the interwar generation, numbering 2,716,910 people, has decreased by 20.8% during this period.

A society in transition

These generational shifts are sure to have an impact on Canadian society, say Statistics Canada researchers, particularly the aging baby boomers, who will redefine the concept of retirement and the end of life compared to other generations.

The fact that they have fewer children than their parents, that they will remain in the labor market longer and are likely to live longer than their parents will certainly affect the capitalization of pension funds, labor shortages, the health care and social services they provide will be increasingly needed in the coming years.

An elderly woman working in a craft.

Baby boomers differ from their parents in that they stay in the labor market longer.

Photo: iStock

Their desire for autonomy and numbers are also likely to have a significant impact on the evolution of home care. The oldest of them will be 85 years old in 2031.

In contrast, Zs and Millennials, who are considered as such more educated and diverse than previous generationsembody today’s changing working-age population.

More exposed to ethnocultural, religious and gender diversity, these younger generations have grown up in a technological and interconnected universe that has had a significant impact on their values ​​and way of life. »

A quote from Excerpt: Generational Portrait of Canada’s Aging Population as per the 2021 Census

These generations now make up a significant proportion of the working-age population, leading to changes in the labor marketStatistics Canada highlights in its generational portrait.

Gender diversity is included in the census

In 2021, questions about the gender of the respondents were included in the census for the first time by naming them at birth Allow cisgender, transgender or non-binary people to indicate their gender.

For example, 100,815 respondents aged 15 and over living in a private household indicated that they were transgender or non-binary, representing 0.33% of this demographic.

Statistics Canada also found that the number of transgender or non-binary people is three to seven times higher among Gen Zers and Millennials than among other generational groups.

Note that Canada is the first country to collect and publish gender diversity data from a national census, according to Statistics Canada.

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