Our Aging Population: Statistics

Stats and Trends that Canadians Need to Consider

From 1945 to 1964, there were approximately 8.4 million babies born in Canada: the original baby boom. With declining birth rates, and the extension of life through improved health care, our population is getting older all the time. As of July 2015, there are more Canadians 65 and older than those 15 and younger. Canadians need to face up to our aging population and come up with positive approaches to the situation. 

Here's a look at ways in which this trend toward aging currently manifests, and how it will change our culture in the future.

Our aging population today:

In 2016, there were 770,780 people aged 85 and older living in Canada. This represents 2.2% of the Canadian population overall.

People over age 85

There were 8,230 people in Canada 100 and older. This demographic grew by 41.3% from 2011 to 2016, in effect the fastest growing age group in Canada.

Canadians over the age of 100 in 2016

The number of people 85 and older grew by 19.4% from 2011 to 2016. This growth rate is nearly four times the rate for the overall Canadian population.

Nearly one-third (32.0%) of people aged 85 and older lived in collective dwellings like retirement homes.

By province:

In 2016, there were 2,290,000 Ontarians 65 and older, 16.37% of the population.

Ontarians 65 and older

In BC, there were 850,000 residents 65 and older, 17.9% of the population.

BC residents 65 and older

In Alberta, there were 596,800 Albertans 65 and older, 11.9% of the population.

Albertans 65 and older


Many older people live alone:

For those 85 and older, 36.6% of women live alone, and 21.8% of men live alone.

Canadians over 85 living alone


24.6% of the Canadian population 65 and older live alone.

Canadians over 65 living alone

Some interesting projections from current population statistics:

Declining birthrates combined with our aging population will soon reduce Canada's population growth rate to less than 1%.

Natural population growth declines to less than 1 percent

In the year 2030, there will be 1 billion people worldwide over the age of 65.

In 2030, 1 billion people over 65

By the year 2050, there will be 1.5 billion people worldwide over the age of 65, including 100 million in North America. a


Estimated effects of our aging population on social security, caregiving and health care

Some Canadians may live in retirement for up to 40 years.b

How long you will live in retirement

If you are currently 65 years of age, you or your spouse has a 50% chance of reaching age 90. b

Your chance of reaching the age of 90

In May 2017, CIBC released a report estimating that caregiving costs Canadian families an estimated $33 billion in out-of-pocket expenses and time off from work. c

According to the Canadian Medical Association, if nothing changes in the structure of our current health care system, seniors will account for almost 60 per cent of health-care costs in Canada in the year 2030. d

Only 18% of Canadians believe that the health care system will be able to meet the needs of the aging population.

Canadians belief in healthcare coverage of seniors




a National Institute on Aging (US)

b National Bank of Canada


d Canadian Medical Association

All others: Statistics Canada


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