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Millennials now make up the largest portion of the population in Manitoba: new data

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Millennials are now the largest generation by population in Manitoba and the province as a whole is the second-youngest in Canada, according to new data.

Statistics Canada released new age data for the entire country, which shows as of July 1, 2023, the Millennial generation makes up a greater number of the country’s population compared to the Baby Boomers.

That trend is also seen in Manitoba, which is the second youngest province in the country with an average age of 39.3 years. Alberta leads the country with an average age of 39.1 years.

“In Manitoba, if we compare fertility trends over a long time compared to elsewhere in Canada, fertility has been quite high, so that has contributed to having a younger population, and it’s still the case today. Fertility is still higher in Manitoba than in the rest of Canada,” said Patrick Charbonneau, section chief of Statistics Canada’s Centre for Demography.

He said one factor in the fertility trend is Manitoba’s Indigenous population, which tends to be higher compared to the rest of the population.

Charbonneau also noted immigration over the last few years has contributed to the younger age, as well.

“Immigration also tends to make the population a bit younger, although this effect is temporary,” he said. “Manitoba has welcomed a lot of immigrants lately, both permanent and temporary.”

Immigration throughout all of Canada played a factor in Millennials taking over the top population spot, with Charbonneau saying it was expected that Baby Boomers would eventually be passed. Still, this trend happened a few years earlier than anticipated.

While Baby Boomers are still the second largest population throughout Canada, they have actually dipped to third in Manitoba.

Charbonneau said Millennials and Generation Z are ahead of Baby Boomers, while Generation X is fourth in Manitoba.

Getting younger while getting older 

The data also shows the median age in Canada actually dipped slightly between 2022 and 2023 – the first time in 65 years.

The average age of Canada’s population fell from 41.7 to 41.6, and the median age dropped from 40.9 to 40.6.

Even though it appears Canada has become slightly younger, the number of people 65 and older still continues to grow.

“We’re getting older because the proportion of the people aged 65 and older will continue to increase in the coming years and that’s due to the Baby Boomers.”

At their peak, Baby Boomers made up 40 per cent of Canada’s population – compared to Millennials, now making up 23 per cent.

Why is this data important? 

Charbonneau said this data helps cities, provinces and the country make decisions regarding things like nursing homes, hospitals and schools.

“For example, we know that population aging will have an impact on the Canadian society. We can think health care, pensions and other government transfers - those are all things we need to consider, so we need to look at the statistics to make decisions that make sense.”

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