Up and Down, Up and Down - Canada's Future Children Population
by William Warren Munroe, July 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Canada! Born in 1867, you are almost 150 years old, the youngest member of the G8 industrialized nations. With below replacement fertility and the last of the Boomers soon to be aging out of the workforce, what does the future look like?

Recent demographic trends show that the number of children under 5 years of age in Canada declined then rose again between 1996 and 2011. Using the cohort change ratios method we can see what the future would look like if current trends continue...

Figure 1: Under 5 year olds and 25 to 34 year old females1

As the number of females 25 to 34 years of age rose and fell (boom bust echo) so did the number of those under 5. If current trends continue, the number of young children will likely continue to rise and fall between 1.7 and 2 million. Fluctuating numbers of people per age group makes planning difficult for community members. May I suggest not closing elementary schools permanently, but rather, keep them open and enjoy the extra room during the lows and enjoy the diversity during the highs.

What do you think?

Endnotes and Sources:

1 The figures for 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011 are adapted from Statistics Canada, 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011 Census of Population counts, by William Warren Munroe. The projections (2016 plus) are developed referring to the 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011 census counts using the cohort change ratios method.

Statistics Canada. 2012. Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, 2011 and 2006 censuses (table). Population and Dwelling Count Highlight Tables. 2011 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 98-310-XWE2011002. Released February 8, 2012. http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/hlt-fst/pd-pl/File.cfm?T=101&SR=1&RPP=25&PR=0&CMA=0&S=50&O=A&LANG=Eng&OFT=CSV (accessed February 08, 2012). For further information, refer to: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/hlt-fst/pd-pl/Notes-eng.cfm.

Related Reading

Population Projection Project for Canada's Census Areas

Population Projections for the Parksville Census Agglomeration

Why are Statistics Canada's projections so high compared to the United Nations and the Cohort Change Ratios projections?

Why so different?

Government population projections for BC reflect an "up and to the right" aspiration, while the cohort change ratios method shows BC's population growth slowing, and levelling out. Read a "A Comparison of Population Projections for BC"...

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