As of July, the number of Canadians aged 65 and older is greater than that of Canadians under 15, reported Statistics Canada. According to the agency, this is the first time such a ratio has existed, and it is in some part due to aging baby boomers. The large generation, which includes people born in the years following World War II up to the year 1965, is rapidly becoming a large population of older adults.
Although the scales are tipped in favor of senior Canadians, the ratio between this demographic and the country's youngest citizens is still fairly close. Statistics Canada reported that people under 15 number approximately 5,749,400, while the number of seniors is 5,780,900, a difference of only 31,500. Interestingly, the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan actually have more children than seniors, meaning it is the Atlantic provinces - especially Nova Scotia - that are home to the majority of senior Canadians.
The statistics agency was quick to point out that Canada still has one of the youngest populations among the G7 countries. The only G7 country with a lower ratio of seniors to children is the U.S. The G7 country with the highest number of seniors is Japan, which has a population made up of 26 percent seniors.
The Effects Of An Aging Population
According to Employment and Social Development Canada, statistical projections point to a sharp increase in the number of senior Canadians over the next several decades. By 2061, the organization expects over a quarter of the population to be over age 65. CBC News reported that such an increase in the number of older adults will necessitate a drastic shift in resources, with more money dedicated to senior care. The number of Canadians living in a retirement home is bound to skyrocket.
It's possible that the Canadian workforce could diminish, though that would also depend on the number of immigrants allowed into the country. In addition, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada predicted that money spent on healthcare will increase by nearly $70 billion from spending levels in 2000. As such, it's absolutely critical that Canadians realize the importance of financial planning. It could also mean that the working life of Canadians could be extended beyond the current retirement age of 65. That age is expected to increase to 67 by 2023, according to Service Canada.
What Canadian Seniors Can Do Now
With the impending strains on the Canadian healthcare system, it's more important than ever that older adults take the time to monitor their health. By eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly and socializing in positive environments, older Canadians can expect to improve their health and stay active longer. A lifestyle that focuses on eating the right foods and avoids unhealthy habits can lower the risk of developing heart disease and even prevent strokes.
Having an older population will be a change, but it is still an indicator of positive things. It means the Canadian healthcare system is keeping people healthier for longer periods of time. As the senior population grows, it's members can work together to stay happy and active.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living