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OTTAWA, ONTARIO, June 1, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – New data released from the 2011 Canadian census this week reveals that while more Canadians are greying than being born, the county at large is experiencing a small baby boom.

“The main factors behind the aging of Canada’s population are the nation’s below-replacement-level fertility rate over the last 40 years and an increasing life expectancy,” Statistics Canada reported in an analysis on age and sex that was release Tuesday.

The population of children aged four-and-under increased 11 percent between 2006 and 2011, the highest increase in the number of young children since the end of the Baby Boom in the 1960s. But this rate of growth does not compete with the ever-climbing number of seniors aged 65-and-over.

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Statistics Canada’s most recent population projections indicate that the number of Canadian seniors could exceed the number of children in as little as four years.

“The population is getting older, on average, in Canada,” said Statistics Canada senior demographer Laurent Martel to The Globe and Mail. “But obviously we’re showing today, at the same time we have population aging we can have an increase in the number of young kids.”

Despite the uptick in new births, Statistics Canada demographers are warning that without a “substantial increase in fertility,” Canada’s population growth in 20 years will be “close to zero.”

“According to all scenarios used in Statistics Canada’s most recent population projections, natural increase is expected to continue to decline in the future decades, due to a projected increase in the number of deaths,” the demographers pointed out.

Natural increase, the difference between the number of births and deaths during a given period, is how a population is replenished in the absence of mass immigration.

Although Canada’s total fertility rate seeing an upward trend since 2003, rising from 1.53 to the current rate of about 1.7, it nonetheless falls well below the 2.1 children-per-woman replacement level that demographers say is necessary for a stable population and economy.

“Anyway you slice it, a healthy society that has enough people to support its elders needs to have the replacement rate of 2.1,” said Andrea Mrozek, manager of research and communications at the Institute for Marriage and Family Canada, in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com in February.

Researchers have found the long-term fortunes of the modern economy rise and fall with the family. Experts have consequently suggested that governments could lessen the devastating effects of the impending demographic winter Western societies will soon face by encouraging and strengthening the family as a social unity and enacting family-friendly polices and initiatives.

 

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