Jul 17, 2023
By Jane Brown
Canada needs to welcome a lot more newcomers to make up for our aging population.
A new Desjardins report comes as concerns rise about the impact of population growth on the housing market.
The report released Monday analyzes how much population growth among working-age Canadians is necessary to maintain the old-age dependency ratio, which compares the 15 to 64 demo with those 65-plus.
The authors find the working-age population would have to grow by 2.2 per cent each year through 2040 to maintain the same ratio that existed in 2022.
Canada’s aging population means that healthcare costs are set to rise steadily in comparison to the size of the country’s workforce, which will be responsible for covering these costs.
Desjardins economist Randall Bartlett explains that though Canada is fortunate to have a healthcare system that provides universal coverage, one of the biggest challenges is that we fund our healthcare expenses out of current tax revenue.
“That means the burden disproportionately falls on today’s workers to make sure we’re funding healthcare for older Canadians. Ultimately, there are fewer resources with which to pay for some of the healthcare needs of that generation,” Bartlett adds.
The governing Liberals in Ottawa are pushing for higher annual immigration targets, which would see the country welcome 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025.