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Old Posted May 29, 2012, 6:23 PM
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Location: Moncton NB
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from CBC

New Brunswick ranks 2nd highest for seniors
Census shows aging trend expected to continue
By Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon, CBC News Posted: May 29, 2012 1:39 PM AT

New Brunswick's new population map New Brunswick has Canada’s second highest percentage of people aged 65 and over, with a large number of them concentrated in the northern part of the province, new census data shows.

In 2011, the provincial figure was 16.5 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.

That’s just slightly below Nova Scotia’s leading rate of 16.6 per cent. However, New Brunswick's percentage of people older than 65 is above the national average of 14.8 per cent.

Fredericton and Moncton are both below the national average, at 13.7 and 14.6 respectively.

Saint John is just slightly above at 15.1 per cent.

But all of the northern communities are significantly higher than the national figure: Miramichi (18.4 per cent), Edmundston (18.5 per cent), Campbellton (18.7 per cent), and Bathurst (18.9 per cent).

Campbellton had the oldest population in the province in 2011 with a median age of 49.1.

Edmundston was a close second at 49 and Bathurst ranked third for median age at 48.9.

Atlantic provinces aging quickly
Overall, Canada has a higher proportion of seniors than ever before, partly due to aging baby boomers and the fact that people are living longer lives, the report says.

The population of those over the age of 65 has surged to nearly five million over the past five years, growing 14.1 per cent since the last official count, Statistics Canada says.

By region, however, the Atlantic provinces and Quebec are aging more quickly than the West.

New Brunswick’s figure has jumped about 1.5 per cent since 2006.

The report suggests that’s due in part to younger people leaving the East in search of jobs.

Seniors outnumber children in some communities
And it’s a trend that’s expected to continue with the near-seniors — those aged 60 to 64 — growing faster than any other group.

In just four years, Canada will face what demographers have dubbed "the cross-over," the day when there are more seniors than children.

But many New Brunswick communities are already there, with Bathurst leading the pack.

In 2011, 6,345 people in the northern community were over the age of 65 — 49 per cent more than those under the age of 15.

Similarly, Edmundston has 40 per cent more seniors, followed by Campbellton at 29 per cent and Miramichi at 27 per cent.

Meanwhile, the proportion of New Brunswickers aged 15 to 64 — the working-age population — is on a downward trend, dropping to 68.4 per cent in 2011 from 69 per cent in 2006.

Still, the number of children aged four and under is on the rise right across the country, up about 11 per cent from the last census, making it the highest growth of rate for that age group since the baby boom period.

New Brunswick increase, however, was by just 6.1 per cent, ranking it 10th among provinces and territories.
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