Canada’s growing senior population big part of economy, advocate says

Below is an article that was published by CTV News on September 29, 2015 featuring a commentary by Susan Eng, Executive Vice President at CARP responding to Statistics Canada numbers stating that Canadian seniors now outnumber children. In response,  Eng says that this don’t mean that the seniors are no longer contributing members of society, as many of them are still holding down jobs with about 600,000 seniors over 65 years of age are still in the workforce today, accounting to more than one in ten of Canada’s  5.8 million seniors according to Statistics Canada. Eng also notes that seniors continue to work for various reasons, as some may enjoy their working environment and some for financial reasons. With senior population growing in numbers and influence, Eng emphases that parties are taking notice of this avid voter bloc and have drafted a list of promises directed towards seniors in this federal election. Click here to read the full article.

Click here to watch CTV National News segment that aired on September 29, 2015 featuring Lee Royko, Montreal West CARP chair who comments on the increase of ageing population in relation to other groups at large.

 

Click here to watch interview on CTV News Channel with Susan Eng, Executive VP at CARP speaking with host Dan Matheson in Toronto on September 29, 2015 about the demographic trends and continued contributions by older adults.

 

Canadian seniors now outnumber children, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still holding down jobs and contributing to society, a seniors’ advocate says.

About 600,000 seniors over 65 are still in the workforce today, according to Susan Eng, executive vice-president of CARP Canada. That’s more than one in ten of Canada’s 5.8 million seniors, according to new numbers released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday.

“We have to stop thinking that once someone is 65 then they’re non-productive,” Eng told CTV News Channel.

But not all working seniors are happily employed. About half say they enjoy their jobs and simply don’t want to retire, but the other half say they don’t have the means to quit, Eng said.

“They haven’t saved enough, they have to pay for drugs,” Eng said.

The group struggling the most with this scenario, Eng says, are elderly widowed women who stayed home to raise children and did not enter the workforce.

“They are now finding themselves in double digit rates of poverty,” she said.

The population of Canadians older than 65 is now larger than children younger than 14, StatsCan said Tuesday. It’s a tiny margin – just 0.1 per cent – but the imbalance is a glimpse into the future of Canadian demographics, Eng says.

“In 20 years, Stats Canada says, the number of seniors will be double the number of people under the age of 15,” she said.

The new numbers also shed light on the promises made by party leaders on the campaign trail in hopes of wooing the senior vote, she added.

“It’s no surprise that all of the four major parties have an entire list of things that they’re directing towards seniors,” Eng said.

In an interview with the Canadian Press, demographer David Foot said the growing senior population will eventually have a substantial impact on the health care system. But for the time being, they continue to contribute to the economy.

“They’re still fairly young seniors. They’re in their late 60s,” Foot said of those Canadians born between 1946 and 1965. “Many of them are still working and paying taxes.”

He estimates that the trend will continue for at least a decade.

The development should be “interpreted with caution,” Statistics Canada warns. The new numbers are based on preliminary data, and a revised outlook is expected in the coming years.

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