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

Updated: Highway 97 reopens to traffic, Peachland fire crews monitor fires this morning

Crews continue to battle the 1,000 hectare Mount Eneas blaze south of Peachland

Update: Wildfire crews continue to fight fire near West Kelowna

Evacuation alerts are in effect for properties in the Glenrosa area

Okanagan Mountain Park wildfire “stable” this morning

An evacuation alert remains in effect for those on Lakeshore Road

Show of union solidarity on casino picket lines

Labour movement to back striking BCGEU workers in protest on Saturday

Updated: Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Friday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Tigers complete series sweep

Vernon grounds Kamloops 12-9 for Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League playoff title

Five small fires burn east of Oliver

At least one of the fires is suspected of being human caused

Seal attacks kayakers in the Broughton Archipelago

“It has to be one chance in a million of this happening.”

Victoria-area park sign removed after glitch redirects to porn site

Resident looking to learn more about workout equipment discovered the problem code

Five fires continue to burn near Keremeos

There are five fires in high elevation burning near Keremeos

Special Olympic athletes take on BC Games during special anniversary

Known as the Global Day of Inclusion, July 20 marks the first Special Olympics in 1968 in Chicago

Scammers dressed as Mounties threaten to arrest senior if she doesn’t cough up cash

Pair of fraudulent officers threaten to arrest 90-year-old woman

Fundraiser to help mom of jogger detained after crossing U.S. border

Cedella Roman, 19, was held in U.S. after accidentally crossing border in South Surrey

Most Read