Higher immigration levels can soften the effects of an aging population on the Canadian economy

Conference Board of Canada

Immigration Will Help Alleviate Canada’s Aging Population Challenges, But Not Solve Them: Ottawa, October 6, 2016
According to a recent report released by Conference Board of Canada, higher immigration levels can help soften the effects of an aging population on the Canadian economy.
However, population growth alone will not completely offset the effects of aging demographics .

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“Immigration provides an important source of labour and helps Canada generate stronger long-term economic growth. However, increasing immigration alone will not reverse Canada’s aging trend,” said Matthew Stewart, Associate Director, National Forecast, The Conference Board of Canada. “In order to fully address the significant cost strains on the Canadian system from an aging population, policy makers must also consider other solutions.”
The share of Canada’s population aged 65 and over is expected to reach over 24 per cent over the next 20 years.
Increased immigration levels would help boost Canada’s labour force and generate stronger long-term economic growth.
But, higher immigration levels only soften the cost strains on the Canadian system, implying that Canada needs to consider other solutions to fully address the impact of an aging population.
Currently, Canadians aged 65 and over make up about 16 per cent of Canada’s total population. Over the next 20 years, this figure will continue to rise to over 24 per cent. As baby boomers leave the workforce, Canada’s labour supply growth will be limited and economic growth will be constrained. All else being equal, this will result in economic growth slowing from the already modest current trend of 2 per cent to around 1.6 per cent by 2050.