Median Age Rising
- According to the 2001 Census, the median age of
Ontario's population reached 37.2 years, an increase of 2 years from 35.2
in the 1996 Census. The decline in the number of births that occurred since
1993 is a major factor in the increase in median age.
- Ontario's median age is lower than that of the
Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Canada (37.6 yrs.), but higher than that of the
Western provinces except British Columbia.
- The increase in the median age is one of many
indicators that Ontario's population is aging.
- Median age is the point at which exactly one-half
of the population is older and the other half is younger.
Women Outnumber Men
- In Ontario, in 2001, there were 95.6 men for every
100 women overall, little changed from the 1996 Census.
- Although men in the 65+ group increased faster than
women of this age, women continued to substantially outnumber men in older age
- The male:female ratio in older age groups increased
between 1996 and 2001. However, there are still only 75 men per 100 women in
the 65+ group, and 43.2 men per 100 women in the 85+ group.
- The Census enumerated 1,380 people aged 100 and
over in 2001 compared with 1,135 in 1996, a 21.6% increase. Among these
individuals, 1,110 were women and 270 were men.
The Oldest Age Groups Grew Fastest
- The oldest age group (75+) increased at the fastest
pace. From 1996 to 2001, their number increased 21 per cent from 541,000 to
- Seniors 65+ accounted for 13 per cent of
Ontario's population, up from 12.4 per cent in 1996. The proportion of
people aged 65+ will start to increase more rapidly beginning in 2011 when the
oldest of the baby boomers start to reach 65.
- Adults aged 45-54, the older half of the baby boom
generation, increased by 20% between 1996 and 2001, the second highest rate
after the 75+ group.
- Children 0-14 had an overall growth rate of 0.8%
with the number of youngest children (0-4 yrs.) declining between 1996 and
Fewer Children Aged 0-4
- Between 1996 and 2001, the number of Ontario
children aged 0-4 declined 8.6 per cent to 671,300, due to declining births in
Ontario. Children aged 5-14 increased 5.5 per cent to 1.6 million in the same
- In 2001, children aged 0-14 accounted for 19.6 per
cent of the population, down from 20.6 per cent in 1996.
The Working Age Population Grew Older
- Ontario's core working age population aged
15-64 represented more than two-thirds of the total population in 2001,
unchanged from the previous Census. Baby boomers (aged 35-54 in 2001) accounted
for 47 per cent of the working age population, compared to 49 per cent in
- Between 1996 and 2001, the oldest age groups of the
working age population (people aged 45-64) increased fastest at 17 per cent. In
2001, they represented 35 per cent of the working age population, compared to
32 per cent in the 1996 Census.
- Fewer young people entered the working age
population to replace individuals in the age group nearing retirement. In 2001,
for every person aged 55-64, there were 1.4 individuals in the group aged
15-24, down from 1.5 individuals in the 1996 Census.
Ontario's CMAs and Cities
- Four of Ontario's Census Metropolitan Areas
(Kingston, Greater Sudbury, Thunder Bay and St. Catharines-Niagara) were among
the top ten oldest in Canada.
- St. Catharines-Niagara was the oldest Ontario CMA
in 2001 (the third oldest in all of Canada's CMAs) with a median age of
40.2 years, an increase of 2.6 from the 1996 Census.
- Kitchener was the youngest Ontario CMA with a
median age of 35.3 years in 2001, up 1.8 from the 1996 Census. Four of
Ontario's CMAs (Kitchener, Oshawa, Windsor and Toronto) were among the top
ten youngest of Canada's CMAs.
- Ontario's youngest municipality with a
population of 5,000+ was Wellesley in the Waterloo Census Division, with a
median age of 28.7 years; the oldest was Elliot Lake (Algoma Census Division)
with a median age of 49.4 years in 2001.