2006 CENSUS HIGHLIGHTS: Factsheet 4

Population Counts: Age and Gender

This fact sheet looks at age and gender data recently released by Statistics Canada as part of the 2006 Census. Note that the most current population figures remain Statistics Canadas postcensal estimates rather than the 2006 Census counts. Census counts need to be adjusted for net undercoverage (available in Fall 2008). See Fact Sheet 1 for more details.

Ontario Younger than the National Average

Bar graph: Median Age in Canada, 2006 Census Bar Graph: Population Growth by Age, Ontario, 2001-2006
  • According to the 2006 Census, the median age of Ontario's population increased 1.8 years between 2001 and 2006, from 37.2 years to 39 years, the third-slowest increase among provinces after Manitoba and Alberta. Median age is the point where exactly half the population is older and the other half is younger.
  • Ontarios population had a slightly younger median age than the national average of 39.5 years.
  • Nova Scotia was the oldest province with a median age of 41.8 years, and Alberta was the youngest province with a median age of 36 years.

Older Age Groups Growing Fastest

  • Between 2001 and 2006, the number of seniors 65+ in Ontario grew by 12 per cent. Among seniors, the 85+ group grew fastest, increasing 27.8 per cent.
  • The second-fastest growth of all age groups occurred among those aged 5564, up 27.5 per cent.
  • The children group, 014, saw little growth over the period. The number of very young children, 04, was steady from 2001 to 2006 (-0.1 per cent), while those aged 59 fell 6.6 per cent. The number of children aged 1014 increased by 3.8 per cent.
  • The youth group aged 1524 grew by 9.6 per cent from 2001 to 2006, with the 2024 group up a strong 11 per cent.

Women Outnumber Men

Bar graph: Men per 100 Women, Ontario, 2006
  • The 2006 Census showed an Ontario gender ratio of 95.2 men for every 100 women overall, slightly lower than in 2001 (95.6).
  • The ratio of men in the 65+ group increased slightly between 2001 and 2006, but women continued to substantially outnumber men in the older age groups.
  • There were 77 men per 100 women in the 65+ group, and only 46 men per 100 women in the 85+ group.

Children Accounting for Smaller Share of Ontarios Population

Pie Charts: Population Share, Ontario 2001 and 2006
  • According to the 2006 Census, young people aged 0 to 14 accounted for 18.2 per cent of Ontario's population, down from 19.6 per cent in 2001.
  • The share of seniors 65+ in Ontarios population increased from 12.9 per cent in 2001 to 13.6 per cent in 2006. This share will rise faster after 2011, when the oldest baby boomers turn 65.
  • Over the same period, the population share of the working-age group (1564) rose from 67.5 per cent to 68.3 per cent.

Ontarios Working-Age Population Getting Older

Bar graph: Working Age Population Share, Ontario per cent of 15-64 age group for 2001 and 2006
  • The provinces working-age population is increasingly made up of older individuals. The number of Ontarians aged 20 to 39, the young working-age population, declined 1.5 per cent over the past five years. This group accounted for 38.8 per cent of the working-age group in 2006, down from 42.4 per cent in 2001.
  • By contrast, the population aged 4564 grew by 19.2 per cent from 2001 to 2006, and their share of the working-age population increased from 35 per cent to 38.8 per cent over the same period.
  • Baby boomers (aged 41 to 60 in 2006) accounted for 43.4 per cent of the working-age population in 2006, compared to 45.9 per cent in 2001 (aged 36 to 55 then).
  • There were fewer young labour market entrants to replace older workers approaching typical retirement age. In 2006, there were 1.2 people aged 15 to 24 for every person aged 55 to 64, down from a ratio of 1.4 in 2001.

The Oldest Age Groups Growing Fastest

Bar graph: Distribution of Ontario Seniors' Population, per cent of 65+ Age Group for 2001 and 2006
  • The oldest old, those aged 80+, are the fastest-growing segment of all seniors.
  • Ontarians aged 80+ accounted for 26.8 per cent of all seniors in 2006, up from 23.1 per cent in 2001. The share of people aged 80+ in Ontarios total population also increased, from 3.0 per cent to 3.6 per cent.
  • One senior out of 953 was a centenarian in 2006, up from one in 1,067 in 2001. The number of people age 100+ increased by 25 per cent between the two censuses, reaching 1,730, up from 1,380 in 2001.

Five Ontario CMAs Among the 10 Oldest in Canada

Bar graph: Median Age, 10 Oldest Census Metropolitan Areas, Canada, 2006
  • According to the 2006 Census, five Ontario Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) were among the 10 oldest in Canada by median age.
  • The oldest CMA in Canada was Trois-Rivires (Qubec) with a median age of 43.8 years.
  • Peterborough ranked fifth oldest of the nation's 33 CMAs, and was Ontarios oldest with a median age of 42.8 years. The Peterborough CMA had the second-highest proportion of seniors in Canada at 18.2 per cent.
  • St. Catharines-Niagara was Ontarios second-oldest CMA with a median age of 42.1 years, followed by Thunder Bay at 41.8 years.
  • Five Ontario CMAs were also among the 10 youngest in Canada in 2006.
  • Kitchener was the youngest Ontario CMA with a median age of 36.4 years, followed by Barrie at 36.7 years.
  • The largest gain in median age among all CMAs between 1996 and 2001 was +3.6 years recorded by Saguenay (Qubec), followed by Thunder Bay (+2.7 years).

Elliot Lake: The Oldest Census Agglomeration

Bar graph: Median Age, 10 Youngest Census Metropolitan Areas, Canada, 2006 Median Age, 10 Oldest Census Agglomerations Ontario, 2006
  • Of Canadas 111 Census Agglomerations (CAs) in 2006, 28 were in Ontario. These mid-sized areas had urban cores with populations of 10,000 to 50,000.
  • The 2006 Census showed that Elliot Lake was the second-oldest CA in Canada (Parksville, BC was the countrys oldest), and ranked as the oldest in Ontario in both the median age (54.8 years) and proportion of seniors (31.7 per cent).
  • Hawkesbury (Ontario part) was the second oldest CA in Ontario by median age (46.2 years), followed by Cobourg (46.1 years) and Kawartha Lakes (45.1 years).
  • The youngest Ontario CA was Petawawa with a median age of 31 years, followed by Leamington (38.3 years) and Ingersoll (38.8 years).
  • Haliburton: The Oldest Census Division in Ontario

    • Haliburton was the oldest Census Division (CD) in Ontario with a median age of 50.4 years and a seniors share of 24.7 per cent. Kenora was the youngest CD in the province with a median age of 34.9 years. Peel had the lowest proportion of seniors (9 per cent) in 2006.
    • Contact Victor Caballero (416) 325-0825 / Alex Munger (416) 325-0102.

      Office of Economic Policy
      Labour and Demographic Analysis Branch

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