Ours is an aging population. Life expectancy is increasing across the world at the same time as birth rates are falling. According to the United Nations, population of older persons is increasing at a rate of 2.6% per year, outstripping the 1.2% growth rate of the general population; the proportion of people aged 60 and older increased from 8% in 1950 to 11% in 2009, and is expected to climb to 22% by 2050.1 The growing number of older persons is partly attributable to the remarkable economic, medical and technological progress achieved in the last century and partly to the baby boom that the west experienced between 1946 and 1965, and Canada is no exception. Comparing the 2006 and 2011 census results, Statistics Canada reports that the number of people aged 65 and older has increased by 14.1% and reached a record high of 14.8% of the Canadian population. Statistics Canada further reports that of all five-year age groups, the 60 to 64 group is increasing the fastest – followed, in order, by people who are 100 and older, 85 to 89, 95 to 99 and 65 to 69 – and that population aging will accelerate as the boomers gradually turn 65.
Boyd, J.-P. E. & Laing, A. (2015). The Boomers Are Coming: Economic and Other Issues of Older Individuals. Calgary, AB: Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family