Aging is a trend that sees an increase in the proportion of older people in our population and it is a natural trend which will continue until the Canadian population stabilizes.
The 1700s saw the start of the demographic transition which consisted of:
Aging is inevitable and simply cannot be reversed except by catastrophic population collapse or exponential population growth continuing forever.
The issue of aging has been presented as something which needs to be fixed. Certainly it must be understood and anticipated but aging is inevitable and is an integral part of a maturing nation.
Immigration has long been touted as a fix for an aging population. The objective of this fix seems to be to maintain forever the age structure and the rate of growth of the baby boom period. Attempting to boost immigration to levels which will run ahead of the aging trend will see extreme and ever-increasing levels of immigration with little effect on the age structure.
But the aging issue isn’t really about demographics or the age structure, it is largely an economic argument. How will more seniors be supported?
Given that perspective, it is useful to examine the wage structure and employment trends and alter our policies to stimulate healthier, independent living and suitable employment opportunities. Higher incomes and lower unemployment levels is a much better approach than many low-quality jobs fed by large pools of cheap labour.
We need to recognize the aging process as inevitable and look to countries with age profiles 30 to 40 years ahead of our own who have adapted. Well thought out policies will allow us to progress into the future rather than attempt to fruitlessly maintain an unsustainable set of conditions from the past.