Stats Canada data shows that 16.9 per cent of the Canadian population is 65 and over. (Ann/Flickr)

VIDEO: Seniors outnumber kids in B.C., says Stats Can

British Columbia is the fifth oldest province in Canada, 2016 census numbers show

British Columbia now has many more seniors than children, according to Statistics Canada data released Wednesday morning.

The federal agency’s numbers show that 18.3 per cent of B.C. residents are 65 and over, compared to 14.9 per cent who are 14 and younger. This demographic shift pushes the province’s average age to 42.3 years – younger than only the Maritimes. Canada-wide, 16.9 per cent of all residents are 65 and older.

The 2011 was the first year in which seniors outnumbered children in B.C. but at the time, the gap was just over 11,000. In 2016, seniors outnumbered children by just over 150,000. According to Statistics Canada, the sharp increase in seniors correlates with baby boomers hitting retirement age while the slow growth in children is due to decreasing fertility rates.

Rennie Group senior economist Ryan Berlin believes that the fear over too many baby boomers is overinflated. He points out that even in 2016, the number of generation Xers, the generation after the boomers, outnumbers the them.

“We’re not adding boomers, we’re losing them,” he added.

The concern over how long the boomers are living is also mostly misplaced, Berlin said.

“Because we are living longer, we will always have more people in our older age groups than we had in the past,” he said.

Longer lifespans have played a role in increasing the both percentage of seniors in B.C. and raising the ratio of women to men. In 2016, women made up 60 per cent of the province’s population – just slightly above the Canadian average of 50.9 per cent.

In the 65 and older age grouping in B.C., there were 453,425 women and just 395,555 men – a difference of almost 60,000. The only age category in which there are more men than women is children 14 and younger and there the difference is just just under 30,000.

In the Lower Mainland, where rising house prices have spurred on worries about millennials – particularly in Vancouver itself – leaving, Rennie Group vice-president of marketing Andrew Ramlo says that census numbers disprove those concerns.

“There’s this notion that there’s this huge exodus of the younger population out of the City of Vancouver,” said Ramlo, “but [the young population] grew relatively significantly [and] only slightly slower than the regional average.”

The growth in the 15-64 population further supports that theory, said Berlin.

“Within Lower Mainland, the City of Vancouver has the second highest proportion of the 15-64 cohort,” said Berlin.

That trend still holds true when you isolate the millennial generation of 20-39-year-olds. Across B.C., that group grew by 6.4 per cent but the Vancouver census metropolitan area (roughly analogous to Metro Vancouver) grew by 7.3 per cent, said Berlin.

“Vancouver grew faster than some of the regions that are purportedly stealing this cohort,” said Berlin. “So faster than Victoria and Abbotsford-Mission.”

READ: Lower Mainland residents shift to condos, duplexes, says 2016 census

B.C. by the numbers: age and sex

B.C. population, by age and sex
Create your own infographics

READ: B.C. shift from single-family homes continues, says 2016 census

Not all of B.C. was equal in either age or sex distribution. The regional districts with the highest proportion of seniors were Okanagan-Similkameen, the Sunshine Coast, Powell River and Nanaimo. However, Statistics Canada said that as a region, Vancouver Island – particularly Nanaimo, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley and Alberni-Clayoquot – had high proportions of both seniors and women.

WATCH: B.C. through the years

Just Posted

Photos: West Bench Elementary Christmas Variety Show

Penticton schools are in full Christmas mode with their annual concerts

Penticton man pleads guilty to creating a chid porn forum

Tyler Walker was instrumental in creating a forum online and was involved in moderating others

Accident blocks traffic

Accident in Penticton on Duncan Avenue

Donate your parking fines to 100 Homes

Parking tickets issued for the remainder of the month are now payable to the housing initiative

Quiet time for Santa at OSNS

Quiet Santa visits the child and youth development centre again this year.

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Star gazing: Mars – the Red Planet

Mars is part of our culture, currently of extreme scientific interest, and sufficiently like Earth

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

Most Read