Canada's Indigenous population is young, but getting older - Macleans.ca
 

Canada’s Indigenous population is young, but getting older


 

New census data shows that Indigenous populations in Canada have grown four times as fast as non-aboriginal populations.

While Indigenous populations tend to be younger than non-aboriginal Canadians (32.1-years-old compared to 42.9, respectively), the proportion of people aged 65 and older is larger than before. In 2016, more than seven per cent of the indigenous population was 65 or older, up from 4.8 per cent a decade earlier.

READ: Moving from talk to action on Indigenous affairs

First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations have a higher proportion of young people compared to the non-aboriginal population. Statistics Canada projects that the proportion of people 65 and older in the First Nations, Métis and Inuit could more than double in the next two decades.

In 2016, there were 1,673,785 Indigenous people in Canada—nearly five per cent of the population.

Two main factors account for the growth: increased life expectancy and high fertility rates, as well as changes in the way people self-identify on the census.

READ: How ‘race-shifting’ explains the surge in the number of Métis in Eastern Canada

Here’s a look at how the populations break down and compare:

ABORIGINAL-POPN-BREAKDOWN


 

Canada’s Indigenous population is young, but getting older

  1. This could, if we only changed our attitudes, be an ace in the hole. In total Canada has an aging population with a reproduction rate below replacement and difficulty in achieving a level of immigration sufficient to support a decent level of growth. Leveraging indigenous population growth in the context of a modern economy depends more than ever on educational opportunities and not modern versions of the ’60s scoop’ and residential schools. Given that properly delivering educational services is complicated by geography and other difficulties, we should be spending more not less than average per student on education of indigenous people i.e. consider this file as an opportunity rather than an obligation.