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For first time, Canadian seniors outnumber children: Statscan

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Senior citizens outnumbered children for the first time across the country, according to a Statistics Canada report released Tuesday.

On July 1, 2015, people 65 and older made up 16.1 per cent of the Canadian population, slightly surpassing the 16 per cent who were 14 and younger. Of 35,851,800 Canadians, there are 5,780,900 seniors and 5,749,400 children, according to preliminary estimates.

By July 1, 2024, seniors will account for one-fifth (20.1 per cent) of the Canadian population, compared with 16.3 per cent who will be children 14 and younger, according to Statscan's projections.

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Seniors outnumbered children in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia as of July 1. The highest ratio difference was in Nova Scotia, with nearly 19 per cent seniors compared with 14 per cent children. The opposite happened in the territories and the Prairie provinces. Nunavut showed the highest disparity, with children making up 31.1 per cent of the population compared with seniors making up 3.7 per cent.

Statscan estimated there were 8,100 centenarians, with nearly 88 per cent of them being women.

Highest population growth of G7 nations

During 2014-15, Canada's population growth was the highest of the G7 nations with a rate of 0.9 per cent, according to Statscan. The United States, France and Germany reported 0.7-, 0.2- and 0.1-per-cent increases, respectively. Italy and Japan reported having a stable population. While Canada's growth rate is the highest, this was the country's lowest population increase since 1998-99.

In 2014-15, the population growth was highest in Nunavut, with a 2.3-per-cent increase. Following Nunavut's high growth is Western Canada with Alberta at 1.8 per cent, Yukon at 1.2 per cent, and Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia at 1 per cent, respectively.

In the Atlantic provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick experienced a 0.2- and 0.1-per-cent decrease in population, respectively.

Nearly 31-million Canadians remain concentrated in four provinces. Ontario remains the most populated province with 38.5 per cent living there, followed by 23 per cent in Quebec. Statscan found that 13.1 per cent call British Columbia home and 11.7 per cent reside in Alberta.

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Fewer non-permanent residents

Temporary foreign workers, international students and refugees are among the non-permanent residents whose numbers decreased in Canada.

From July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, the number of non-permanent residents fell by 10,300, the largest annual decrease since 1994-95.

The Statscan results were based on the 2011 census, and adjusted for undercoverage and unaccounted Native reserves.

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