Canada’s population pyramid stacks up against the world

Canada’s 2013 age pyramid – from news.yahoo.com

A population pyramid is a quick way to get a snapshot of a country’s age distribution for males and females. Canada’s age “pyramid” (it looks a bit more like an arrowhead, actually) has a bulge near the centre, where the baby boomers born 1946-1965 are represented.

Canada’s age distribution is actually pretty even through the different age groups, with the exception of when you start looking at age 70+.

What does this mean? Well, a population pyramid’s shape can show how a population is renewing itself and growing. For example, a larger bulge at the bottom shows a high percentage of young people.

While Canada’s baby boomer population outweighs those aged 20 and younger by quite a margin, it’s projected to even out – check out this projection of Canada’s age pyramid up to 50 years from now (use the slider to move backwards and forwards in time.)

Canada’s population pyramid represents a younger demographic than most industrialized nations, including China which has a much less desirable age distribution.

China’s 2013 population pyramid – from coopami.org

Projections for China show an aging population with the older demographic growing disproportionately in the coming years (one reason for this of course is China’s one-child policy).

The implication of an aging population with less growth at the bottom of the pyramid is that the country won’t be able to support those no longer in the workforce.

Germany is facing its own challenges. It actually has a declining population with a low birth rate, which is not the case all throughout Europe (Ireland, for example, has a relatively high birth rate). Here’s one source that shows a disproportionate age group in the middle of the pyramid.

By 2030, the projections on the same website show a much higher concentration of the population in the 60-70 years old bracket, and by 2040, that bulge moves to 70-80 years old.

Germany’s age pyramid (2015 projection) from populationpyramid.net

The good news is Germany is managing to attract new citizens, namely other Europeans who are flocking to Germany for the chance of a job. That resulted in a net increase of Germany’s population for 2012, with projections that immigration will grow in the future.

But the demographic change is still something that needs to be addressed, and the wheels are in motion.