Canada's Population Projected to Expand to 63 Million

Statistics Canada has recently updated its population projections, reflecting significant demographic shifts and outlining various future scenarios for Canada's population growth from 2023 to 2073. According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, Canada's population, which stood at approximately 40.1 million in 2023, is projected to grow substantially, potentially reaching between 47.1 million and 87.2 million by 2073, depending on different growth scenarios.

Note that these projections are based on assumptions that consider recent trends and expert opinions. These include three main scenarios: low-growth (LG), medium-growth (M1), and high-growth (HG). In the medium-growth scenario, which is considered the most likely, the population is expected to reach about 62.8 million by 2073.

Learn more about the factors driving Canada's population growth to reach 63 million and its potential impacts on Canada's economy, demographics, and labor market below.

Impact of New Population Projections on Canada's Population

Impact of New Population Projections on Canada's Population

Immigration continues to be the predominant factor driving Canada's population growth. Since the 1990s, an increase in Canadian immigration has been the key component of demographic expansion, which is expected to persist. In contrast, natural increase, the number of births minus the number of deaths, is projected to play a minor role due to an expected rise in deaths from an aging population and persistently low fertility rates.

Here's a breakdown of how these projections affect age distribution, regional demographics, and the labor market in Canada.


The projections also highlight significant demographic aging. The percentage of the population aged 65 and older is projected to increase from 18.9% in 2023 to between 21.9% and 32.3% by 2073, depending on the aging scenario.

This substantial increase is primarily due to the aging of the baby boom generation, with the population aged 85 and older expected to rise sharply between 2031 and 2050. This demographic shift will significantly increase the demand for healthcare and related services. In contrast, the share of children aged 0 to 14 is expected to decrease, continuing a trend that has been evident since it peaked in 1962.

Provinces and Territories

The population growth projections vary significantly across Canadian provinces or territories. While Ontario and Quebec are expected to remain the most populous provinces, the demographic weight of regions such as Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia is projected to increase.

Canadian provinces or territories like Newfoundland and Labrador may see a decrease in their population size according to certain scenarios. This regional variance in population growth will have profound implications for economic development, resource allocation, and political representation.

Labor Market

Canada's labor market is expected to experience changes as the population grows and ages. The total employment in Canada has increased by 2.4% in the year ending June 2023, keeping pace with population growth. However, the aging population could lead to a tighter labor market, with potential labor shortages in sectors such as healthcare, which will need to expand to meet the increased demand from an older population.

Key Factors Driving Canada's Population Growth

Key Factors Driving Canada's Population Growth

Canada's population growth is driven by several key factors highlighted below.

High Immigration Targets

Canadian immigration policies have shaped its demographic structure. The country has set high immigration targets to counterbalance the aging population and support Canada's labor market. For instance, the Canadian government plans to welcome over 485,000 new permanent residents in 2024 and 500,000 in 2025. This approach helps decrease the effects of an aging population and enriches the nation's cultural diversity and economic vitality.

Rise of Temporary Residents

There has been a significant increase in the number of temporary residents, including international students and temporary foreign workers. These individuals contribute to the economy and often transition to Canadian permanent residency, further boosting Canada's population growth. The presence of temporary residents helps fill critical gaps in the labor market, particularly in sectors that face skill shortages.

High Life Expectancy

Another key factor contributing to Canada's population growth is the high life expectancy of its residents. According to Statistics Canada, Canadian society has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, averaging about 82 years. This increase in longevity contributes to the growing proportion of the elderly, presenting challenges and opportunities for public health and social services.