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Millennials officially outnumber baby boomers in Canada, marking a historic shift in Canadian demographics.

According to recent data released by Statistics Canada on July 1, 2023, millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) have become the largest generation, surpassing the long-standing dominance of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1965).

The average age of the Canadian population slightly decreased from 41.7 to 41.6 years from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, the first decline since 1958. This reversal in the aging trend can be attributed to a significant increase in permanent and temporary immigration observed in 2022 and 2023. As recent immigrants are generally younger, their arrival has contributed to the overall decline in the average age.

In the one-year period from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2023, the millennial population increased by 457,354 individuals, exceeding even the growth of Generation Alpha (born since 2013) which primarily grows through births.

Furthermore, Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012) has now surpassed Generation X (born between 1966 and 1980) in numbers, making it the third-largest generation in Canada. According to population projections, Generation Z could surpass millennials in numbers between 2038 and 2053.

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Immigration temporarily driving down average age in Canada

While this demographic shift is influenced by immigration, the effect of immigration in 2022 and 2023 is temporary, as population aging is inevitable.

The number and proportion of individuals aged 65 and older continue to rise, driven by the aging of the baby boomer cohorts.

The data also reveals a temporary slowing of demographic aging, with the average age and median age of the population both declining in the same year, a phenomenon last observed in 1957-1958. This decline is attributed to the arrival of over 1 million permanent and temporary immigrants, who are generally younger than the average population.

The proportion of the population aged 15 to 64 years increased from 65.5% in 2022 to 65.7% in 2023, bucking a trend of decline observed since 2007. This increase is attributed to the departure of large baby boomer cohorts from this age group as they reach 65 years, making room for a growing working-age population.

Canada’s population aging trend, however, continues, with individuals aged 65 and older surpassing those younger than 18 for the first time in history. The proportion of people aged 65 and older reached 18.9% on July 1, 2023, driven primarily by the baby boomer generation, which will continue to reach the age of 65 until 2030.

Aging populations in Canadian provinces

Geographically, Newfoundland and Labrador remained the province with the highest average age (45.7 years), while the Prairies had the youngest population. Alberta boasted the youngest average age (39.1 years) and the lowest proportion of people aged 65 and older (15.1%).

This demographic transformation also highlights a shift in generational dominance across provinces. In Atlantic provinces and Quebec, baby boomers still constitute the largest generation, while in Ontario and British Columbia, millennials have now outnumbered baby boomers.

The recent incorporation of gender concepts in demographic estimates reveals a nearly equal balance between men+ (20,013,707) and women+ (20,084,054) in the Canadian population, with a slight increase in the ratio of men+ to women+.

The demographic estimates released by Statistics Canada are considered preliminary and will undergo further updates following standard procedures. The data is based on the 2021 Census population counts, providing a comprehensive snapshot of Canada’s evolving demographic landscape.

If you’re interested in moving to Canada but not sure which program you may be eligible for, check your eligibility for more than 20 Canadian immigration programs by taking Moving2Canada’s free Canada Immigration Quiz.

Citation "Immigration has caused millennials to outnumber boomers in Canada." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

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