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Economic Viewpoint

An Oldie but A Goodie: Economic and Fiscal Implications of an Aging Population

February 21, 2024
Randall Bartlett, Senior Director of Canadian Economics • Marc Desormeaux, Principal Economist

Population aging will have profound effects on Canada’s economic prosperity, public finances, and the quality of healthcare we can provide. In this note, we discuss some of those impacts and the challenges they will create for the federal and provincial governments.

The aging of Canada’s population is well known and long predicted. Though high immigration levels and skyrocketing non‑permanent resident admissions have helped slow the process, alone, they won’t be nearly enough to stop the rapid acceleration expected over the next decade.

Canada’s provinces will bear the brunt of the costs of an aging population. Current health spending plans likely won’t meet the needs of an aging population, and we estimate that meeting those needs could cost an additional $2.5–5B in each of the four largest provinces by 2030.

In this challenging environment, governments will need to increase the Canadian economy’s productive capacity and find new, more efficient ways to deliver healthcare services. Look for more analysis on healthcare and aging from Desjardins Economic Studies in the coming months.

NOTE TO READERS: The letters k, M and B are used in texts, graphs and tables to refer to thousands, millions and billions respectively. IMPORTANT: This document is based on public information and may under no circumstances be used or construed as a commitment by Desjardins Group. While the information provided has been determined on the basis of data obtained from sources that are deemed to be reliable, Desjardins Group in no way warrants that the information is accurate or complete. The document is provided solely for information purposes and does not constitute an offer or solicitation for purchase or sale. Desjardins Group takes no responsibility for the consequences of any decision whatsoever made on the basis of the data contained herein and does not hereby undertake to provide any advice, notably in the area of investment services. Data on prices and margins is provided for information purposes and may be modified at any time based on such factors as market conditions. The past performances and projections expressed herein are no guarantee of future performance. Unless otherwise indicated, the opinions and forecasts contained herein are those of the document’s authors and do not represent the opinions of any other person or the official position of Desjardins Group.