Canada’s Health Care System heading for “Demographic Blowout” with Aging Population: Study



November 17, 2008

By Hilary White

OTTAWA, November 14, 2008 ( – A new study has revealed that the Canadian government will spend $171.9-billion this year on health care, or $5,170 per person. At this rate “health care spending is expected to grow faster than Canada’s economy, outpacing inflation and population growth,” according to Glenda Yeates, President and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), which released the study yesterday.

Demographers have warned that the aging and slow growth of the Canadian population is a direct threat to the long-term prognosis of its raft of expensive, publicly funded social services, including its health care system.

Brian Day, past president of the Canadian Medical Association, told the Globe and Mail that with the Baby Boom generation growing older, the system is headed for a “demographic blowout.”

The CIHI study found that government expenditure on health will reach 10.7 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. Yeates said the study’s results are “going to raise questions for Canada and other countries as to how much do we really want to spend on health care.” The organization’s findings may prove especially significant and timely given US president-elect Barack Obama’s stated plans to move the US towards socialized healthcare.

At the same time that the Canadian government is paying record sums to keep its socialized medical services afloat, which includes government-funded abortion-on-demand, the population of Canada continues to age and its birth rate remains one of the lowest in the western world.

The median age for women in Canada is 41.2 years, over the age at which women easily conceive children. Recently the total fertility rate has risen only slightly to 1.57 children born per woman. To maintain a steady population, however, a country must have 2.1 children born per woman.

Despite massive immigration, Canada’s population, currently 33,399,600, has grown by only 276,780 since last year. With most new residents being adults, the problem of the aging of the population is not addressed by the government’s open-door policy, aimed at bringing workers into the country. The average Canadian life expectancy is 81.16 years. Combined, these statistics paint a grim picture of the future of Canada’s health services, with fewer and fewer young people to pay for the health care of a rapidly aging population.
The 2006 census showed that the country’s population is aging at an alarming rate. The report from Statistics Canada said that the number of people over age 64 has increased by 11.5 per cent in the last 5 years. Of the total 32,973,546 Canadians, “the number of people aged 55 to 64, many of whom are workers approaching retirement, has never been so high in Canada, at close to 3.7 million in 2006.”

Meanwhile, Canada continues to be one of the most abortion-friendly countries in the world, with a total of 96,815 abortions committed in 2005, equalling 28.3 abortions for every 100 live births.

Read related coverage:

Study Shows More Immigration Won’t Fix Demographic Implosion in Canada

Demographics Email Us 

Get Publications Delivered

TO Your Inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about upcoming events, action items, and everything else ARPA
Never miss an article.