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2011 census: highlights

OTTAWA – Highlights from the latest set of numbers from the 2011 census, released Tuesday by Statistics Canada:

  • The number of seniors aged 65 and over in Canada increased 14.1 per cent to nearly five million, a faster rate of growth than that for children aged 14 and under (0.5 per cent) and people aged 15 to 64 (5.7 per cent).

  • Seniors accounted for a record high of 14.8 per cent of the Canadian population in 2011, up from 13.7 per cent five years earlier.

  • The number of children aged 4 and under increased 11 per cent, the highest growth rate for that age group since the latter half of the baby boom between 1956 and 1961. It marks the first time in 50 years that Canada has seen an increase in small children in every province and territory.

  • People aged 100 or older comprised the second fastest-growing age group in Canada, after those aged 60-64; there were 5,825 centenarians in 2011, an increase of 25.7 per cent since 2006.

  • For the first time, there were more people in Canada aged 55 to 64 — typically the age group where people leave the labour force — than aged 15 to 24, when they typically enter it.

  • In 2011, people aged 15 to 64 — the working-age population — represented 68.5 per cent of the Canadian population, the highest proportion of all G8 countries except Russia.

  • Among the working-age population, a record high 42.4 per cent of people were in the age group 45 to 64, most of them baby boomers.

  • In 2011, the proportion of seniors was the highest in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and British Columbia.

  • In 2011, all large municipalities located west of Ontario had a lower proportion of people aged 65 and over than the national average of 14.8 per cent, except for the B.C. cities of Kelowna and Victoria.

  • Nearly one in five people were aged 65 and over in Peterborough, Ont., and Trois-Rivieres, Que.; in Calgary, the ratio was less than one in 10.

  • Among smaller communities, the Vancouver Island community of Parksville, B.C., and Elliot Lake, Ont., had the highest proportion of seniors — 38.6 per cent and 35.1 per cent, respectively, more than twice the national average of 14.8 per cent.

  • In 2011, five of the 10 smaller communities that registered the highest proportions of people aged 15 to 64 were in Alberta.

  • Seven of the 10 municipalities with the highest proportion of seniors were in British Columbia.