Ottawa: In the middle of high job vacancies and historically low unemployment, Canada is facing record retirements from an aging labour force with the number of seniors citizens aged 65 years and older growing six times faster than children aged between 0-14 years, said Statistics Canada.
Releasing a second series of results from the 2021 Census which features the age structure of the Canadian population, the national statistical office on Wednesday said the working-age population, persons aged between 15 to 64 years, who produce the bulk of goods and services in the Canadian economy, has reached a turning point with 21.8 per cent in this population close to retirement, that is, aged between 55 to 64 years, which represented an all-time high in the history of Canadian censuses.
From 2016 to 2021, the number of persons aged 65 years and older rose 18.3 per cent to 7 million. This is the second largest increase in 75 years. In the same period, the number of children under the age of 15 years grew at a pace six times slower than the number of people aged 65 years and above, to total 6 million, Xinhua news agency reported.
These demographic shifts are due to low fertility (the total fertility rate at fewer than two children per woman for nearly 50 years), the gradual increase in life expectancy, and the fact that the large baby boom generation (born between 1946 and 1965) started turning 65 in 2011, the agency said.
According to Statistics Canada, immigration has a rejuvenating effect on the Canadian population, but this effect is not enough to stop the population aging process.
The Covid-19 pandemic slowed population growth in all age groups. However, it has not had a significant impact on population aging, Statistics Canada added.