Canada’s Aging Population: The Issue

In the coming decades, seniors will comprise a larger share of the Canadian population, growing from 3.5 million people in 1996 to an estimated 6.9 million by 2021.


Populations are aging in all western industrialized countries. In Sweden for example, seniors comprise 18 per cent of the population while in Canada they form 12 per cent of the population.

Life Expectancy has Increased in the 20th Century

Since 1920, life expectancy has increased by an average of seven years for men, and 13 years for women.

For most of their older years, people are disability-free. In 1991, men aged 65 and older could expect to have severe disabilities only for their last two years, and women only for their last four years of life.

Life Expectance at Age 20, 1920 to 1990


Retrieved January 2009 From The Public Health Agency of Canada – Aging and Seniors.