- Statistics Canada projects that the population of Canada may nearly double in the next 50 years.
- While the population of some provinces is set to boom, however, others may see negative growth.
In 2018 the population was estimated at 37.1 million, so if the medium growth projections are correct that's over 60% more people living in Canada in 50 years. There is no fool-proof crystal ball; the stats are based on several scenarios that each highlight the uncertainty of population growth.
So where is Quebec in all of this? The report estimates that the growth of Quebec would remain lower than that of the rest of Canada, which means Quebec's share of the population could drop from 22.6% to between 20.1% and 20.6% by 2043.
It looks like Alberta will be in the lead with the highest rate of population growth of all the provinces. As of 2018, Alberta's population is 4.3 million. But by 2043 they could be standing between 6 or 7.3 million.
Ontario is still expected to remain the most populated province increasing from 14.3 million to between 16.5 million and 20.4 million by 2043.
Ontario and Alberta would account for more than half of the country's projected growth.
I'm not sure what's going on in the Prairies but they will also see major growth over the next few years. Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta combined (as of 2018, 6.81 million) are on course to be larger than Quebec's total population (as of 2018, 8.39 million) by 2043.
The major cause of the projected growth throughout Canada is largely due to our strong immigration.
So why is Quebec falling so behind? According to the World Population Review, there are a couple of reasons.
Immigration: Quebec has been lowering its immigration targets over the years to better integrate new immigrants. In 2012, Quebec welcomed 55,000 immigrants. The target was lowered in 2014 and reduced again for 2017 through to 2020.
Fertility Rate vs Replacement Rate: The good news is that Quebec does have a higher average fertility rate, at 1.69 children per woman, than the rest of the country.
But the ideal replacement rate, representing the total number of children a woman would need to have in order for the population to remain the same, is 2.1 children per woman.
Aging Population: Ah Baby Boomers. You won't be able to blame the Millennials for everything. By 2068 the proportion of seniors in the country could reach between 21.4% and 29.5% in comparison to 17.2% today. And this pattern will only keep growing, which will also affect the birth & death rates and put a strain on pension and health care systems.
Quebec doesn't have it as bad as some of the provinces in the Maritimes. While overall growth is expected to be low, in some scenarious there were actually negative growth rates.
Ah well, at least Quebecers won't have to share too much of our space in the coming years. Jokes on you, Alberta.