Population Counts: Age and Gender
This fact sheet looks at age and gender data recentlyreleased by Statistics Canada as part of the 2011Census. Note that the most current population figures remain Statistics Canada’s postcensal estimates rather than the 2011 Census counts. Census counts need to be adjusted for net undercoverage (available in Fall 2013). See Fact Sheet 1 for more details.
Ontario Younger than the National Average
- According to the 2011 Census, the median age of Ontario's population increased 1.4 years between 2006 and 2011, from 39.0 years to 40.4 years. Median age is the point where exactly half the population is older and the other half is younger.
- Ontario’s population had a slightly younger median age than the 40.6 years for the nation as a whole.
- Newfoundland and Labrador was the oldest province with a median age of 44.0 years, and Alberta was the youngest province with a median age of 36.5 years.
Older Age Groups Growing Fastest
- Between 2006 and 2011, the fastest growing segment of Ontario’s population was the 85+ age group, which increased 29 per cent, followed closely by the 60–69 age group, which rose 27 per cent.
- The number of seniors 65+ grew by 14 per cent over 2006-11, and the proportion of population they represent continued to rise, reaching 14.6 per cent, up from 13.6 per cent in 2006 and 12.4 per cent in 1996.
- The working-age population (15-64) increased by almost 6 per cent between 2006 and 2011. The proportion of Ontarians in this age group reached 68.4 per cent in 2011, up from 68.3 per cent in 2006 and 64 per cent in 1996.
- However, as the large cohorts of baby boomers (aged 46-65 in 2011) moved up the age structure, the number of people aged 33-45 shrank almost 6.7 per cent from 2006 to 2011.
- Similarly, as the baby boom echo cohorts moved into their late teens and 20s, the number of Ontarians aged 6-15 shrank by 4.5 per cent over 2006-11.
- The children group overall (0–14) declined 1.4 per cent. The share of children in Ontario’s population continued to decline, reaching 17 per cent in 2011, down from 18.2 per cent in 2006 and 20.6 per cent in 1996.
Ontario’s Working-Age Population Getting Older
- The province’s working-age population is increasingly made up of older individuals. The number of Ontarians aged 20 to 39, the young working-age population, grew slowly, rising 3.0 per cent over 2006-11. This group accounted for 37.7 per cent of the working-age population in 2011, down from 38.8 per cent in 2006.
- By contrast, the population aged 45–64 grew by 14.7 per cent from 2006 to 2011, and their share of the working-age population increased from 38.8 per cent to 42.0 per cent over the period.
- Baby boomers accounted for 41.1 per cent of the working-age population in 2011, compared to 43.4 per cent in 2006.
- There were fewer young labour market entrants to replace older workers approaching typical retirement age. In 2011, there were less than 1.1 people aged15 to 24 for every person aged 55 to 64, down from a ratio of 1.2 in 2006 and 1.4 in 2001.
More Younger and Older Seniors
- In 2011, baby boomers started to enter the senior age group. As a result, the number of younger seniors aged 65-69 increased 20.9 per cent from 2006.
- However, the fastest-growing segments of the senior age group were the oldest groups aged 85-89 (up 30.3 per cent) and 90+ (up 25.0 per cent).
- Ontarians aged 80+ accounted for 27.6 per cent of all seniors in 2011, up from 26.8 per cent in 2006. The share of people aged 80+ in Ontario’s total population also increased, from 3.6 per cent to 4.0 per cent.
- The number of people age 90+ increased by 25 per cent between the two censuses, reaching 64,620, up from 80,620 in 2006 and 41,005 in 1996.
Women Outnumber Men
- The 2011 Census showed an Ontario gender ratio of 95.1 men for every 100 women overall, slightly lower than in 2006 (95.2).
- The ratio of men in the 65+ group increased slightly between 2006 and 2011, but women continued to substantially outnumber men in the older age groups.
- There were 80 men per 100 women in the 65+ group, and only 39 men per 100 women in the 90+ group.
Ottawa-Gatineau: Highest Share of Working-Age
- According to the 2011 Census, Toronto and the Ontario part of Ottawa-Gatineau were the two Census Metropolitan Areas (CMA) in the province with the highest proportion of working-age people in their population, at about 70 per cent.
- In Canada, Calgary had the highest share at 72 per cent. Ottawa-Gatineau ranked 6th nationally.
- St. Catharines-Niagara and Peterborough were the two Ontario CMAs with the lowest share of working-age population, at about 66 per cent. They also had the two lowest share nationally among Canadian CMAs.
Peterborough: Highest Share of Seniors
- Peterborough and St. Catharines-Niagara were also the two Ontario CMAs with the highest share of seniors in their population, at over 19 per cent. Peterborough also had the highest share nationally.
- In Ontario, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo and Oshawa had the lowest shares of seniors in their population among CMAs, at 12.5 per cent.
- Nationally, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo and Oshawa had the fourth and fifth lowest shares, behind Saskatoon (12.1 per cent), Edmonton (11.4 per cent) and Calgary (9.8 per cent).
Elliot Lake: Oldest Census Agglomeration
- Among smaller population centres in Ontario called Census Agglomerations (CAs), Elliot Lake had by far the highest share of seniors, at over 35 per cent, well ahead of second-place Cobourg (26.5 per cent).
- Nationally, only the Parksville CA in B.C. had a higher proportion of seniors in its population, at 38.6 per cent.
- Petawawa and Timmins were the two Ontario CAs with the lowest shares of seniors, at 7.3 and 13.8 per cent respectively. Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray) in Alberta had the lowest share nationally (1.9 per cent).
Haliburton: The Oldest Census Division in Ontario
Haliburton was the oldest Census Division (CD) in Ontario with a median age of 54.0 years and a seniors’ share of 27.9 per cent.
- Kenora was the youngest CD in the province with a median age of 38.6 years. Peel had the lowest proportion of seniors (10.5 per cent) in 2011.
Contact Alex Munger (416) 325-0102.
Office of Economic Policy
Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch