Flower Power Generation Ages into Retirement
by William Warren Munroe, October 31, 2014; 2nd ed. Nov/2015

Figure 1: Change in 5 Year Age Groups, Canada, 2011 to 20161

Born between 1946 and 1951, the early baby boomers were simply a continuation of the pre-war fertility reflected in the population pyramid shaped age / sex distribution up to the mid 1960s.

This same generation was 20 to 24 years of age during the "flower power" years 1966 to 1971. While helping to bring an end to exporting carnage into south east asia, this generation also helped end the population pyramid.

Relatively quickly, in the mid 1960s, society put aside aspirations of going forth and multiplying in favour of sustainability - delaying fertility and increasing alternative opportunities to child rearing.

Looking closely at the chart (and building on the previous 2 articles), notice the drop in the number of people born between 1966 and 1971 (45 to 49 years of age between 2011 and 2016). These were the years (1966 and 1971) when the number of 20 to 24 year olds rose rapidly (the young adults who were born between 1946 and 1951). In the late '60s and early '70s, they were ready to exercise their own fertility rights. It was, as my mother says, a revolution.

Contending with "the establishment" some dropped out, and some headed back to the land (to set souls free?), while others moved to the suburbs trying, where they could, to make changes from within.

Perhaps, we will see a proliferation of memoirs providing insight into the transition from sit-ins to board rooms, from love-ins to fewer children, from aspirations of banning war to adopting and exporting birth control?

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 2016 to 2041 projection numbers by William Warren Munroe are created using the cohort change ratios method based on the 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011 Census of Population counts from Statistics Canada's website

The figures for 2016 to 2041 are developed by William Warren Munroe using the cohort change ratios method based on the 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011 Census of Population counts.

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

Take a look at Canada's Age Sex Distribution animated projection (medium scenario). The animation starts at 1996 and clicks through to 2041. Notice in the 1996 chart, the baby boom bulge (which is just the resumption of more births than deaths - the population pyramid - after WW2) followed by fewer numbers in the younger age groups reflecting (resulting from) reduced fertility beginning in the mid 1960s. This medium scenario projection is an average of the 1996 to 2011 cohort change ratios thus creating a central tendency that eventually provides smooth lines in the younger age groups by the end of the projection period.

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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