The most significant change in the Canadian demographic profile is the aging population. According to the National Seniors Strategy for Canada, by 2035, 1 in 4 Canadians will be older than 65. By 2046, the number of people aged 85 years and older could triple to almost 2.5 million, making that the fastest-growing age demographic in Canada.

Canada’s aging population presents significant challenges to our society and opportunities for the sector to help address those challenges. Keeping older adults active and engaged enhances their physical, mental, and social health, which lowers rates of hospitalization and increases their ability to age-in-place in the community with dignity. This can significantly reduce the burden on our faltering health care system.

Another shift across Canada in the last decade is the significant rise in immigration. The trend is expected to continue in the coming decade. The Immigration Levels Plan developed by the Government of Canada for 2024-2026 estimates that we will see a increase of 485,000 new permanent residents. This will be followed by an increase of 500,000 in each of 2025 and 2026. 

The sector is well positioned to further assist with the integration of new Canadians and refugees by helping them settle in Canada, learn English and/or French, secure employment, reduce stress and anxiety, and connect them to Canadian communities. To deliver on this potential, the sector must evolve to cater to evolving needs, including cultural, of new Canadians.

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