Playing with Canada’s Population Data: Release your Inner (Population) Data Nerd!

As I noted in yesterday’s blog (May 3, 2017), Statistics Canada has released new information on Canada’s population structure that details its changing age and gender profile. In short, Canada is aging (reflecting a long-running trend), with a growing proportion of those over 65, a growing number of centenarians, and a greater number of females than males amongst the oldest age groups, with the latter outcome reflecting greater life expectancy amongst females.

A number of on-line tools help us to understand these changes. First, Statistics Canada presents population pyramids – a common way to express a region’s age and sex structure – for 1871 and 2016. The difference is astounding, with 1871 reflecting a typical age-sex pyramid, with a wide base (a large portion of young), narrowing to a small apex (a small proportion of the old). The 2016 pyramid hardly looks like one, and is instead much more rectangular in shape, reflecting the larger proportion of elderly and the small share of the young. See

A second infographic, also by Statistics Canada, captures the trends in the number and proportion of seniors and young in Canada between 1852 and 2016. Again, the demographic shift is clearly visible. See

Third, the CBC has put together a ‘Demographic DJ’ toolkit (see After entering your province of residence, age, and gender, the remix provides you with a range of demographic information, including sex ratios, changes in the labor force, old and young communities, along with other information. Have some fun and remix your demography – release your inner (population) data nerd!


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