Many young people first experience seniors through stereotypical representations on TV and in films. We’re all familiar with these misleading characters that make older people seem irritable and lonely. Hopefully, most of us know these are a far cry from the actuality of our ageing generation. These negative stereotypes do not have to be pervasive in our country, and it’s our mission to spread the truth about a demographic who are often the pillars of their communities and families.

The percentage of seniors in Canada is steadily increasing as life expectancy improves, so understanding ageing is more important than ever before. We need a more wholesome representation of this vastly varied age group. Often, people don’t understand the impact of ageing until they experience it themselves, but that’s often too late to be of use to the generations that preceded them. We want to help you understand ageing in any way we can, and we hope that these newsletters provide valuable insights that change the way you see and support the seniors in your community. 

So let’s take a look at some of the stats which will impact us in the coming years. 

As multigenerational homes rise, we need to support the seniors in our homes

In the past, multigenerational households were commonplace, with grandparents helping to raise their own children’s offspring, and recent years have seen a growth in the number of multi-generational homes in Canada. In 2016, Canada saw 2.9% of homes identifying as multigenerational. Between 2001 and 2016 Censuses, multigenerational households (those which include at least three generations of the same family) rose the fastest (+37.5%) of all household types in Canada. The rate of multigenerational homes was slightly better in British Columbia, where 3.6% were multigenerational.

Seniors in Canada outnumber children and will continue to do so 

In 2016, the number of seniors (aged 65 and over) in the total population surpassed the number of children (aged 14 and under) for the first time in Canada’s history. A trend that will continue, with the total population likely to consist of 24.8 percent children and 43.1 percent seniors by 2068.

Baby boomers are about to join the ageing population

Between 2026 and 2045, we will see baby boomers join the age group classified as seniors. The overall population will grow from 1.6 million people defined as seniors in Canada in 2018, to between 4.7 million and 6.3 million by 2068. The number of centenarians is projected to reach at least 65,000 persons by 2065.

Life expectancy continues to improve with advancements in healthcare  

As of July 1st, 2019, there are 6,592,611 persons aged 65 years or older in Canada. With the average male expected to live at least another 19.3 years, and the average woman expected to live a further 22.1 years. At last count, 10,795 centenarians were living in Canada.

If you’re interested in finding out more about ageing in Canada

  1. We recommend dipping into this resource: A chapter taken from the 2nd Edition Canadian Edition of Introduction to Sociology. 
  2. Statistics Canada is also an excellent resource for a further breakdown of senior and ageing statistics.