Young population could boost northern economy - Conference Board
Friday, January 7, 2011 - 9:39 AM
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Kids these days--it may be a cliché, but it's also the title of a new report by the Conference Board of Canada highlighting how many young people live in the North.
The report shows on average 20 per cent of people in Northern regions are under15 years old, with some areas, such as the NWT, having a youth rate of 24 per cent.
The director of the Board's Centre for the North, Derrick Hynes, says with more attention on the North, there will likely be more economic opportunities here-- something governments and younger people should also pay attention to.
"If I were living in the North, I would want to be focused on ensuring that opportunities that come about are afforded those who live in the North and have made their lives in the North-the Northerners, if you will," he said. "With a young population, there's a great opportunity here for the Northern population to take advantage of some of these… when they occur."
The Conference Board of Canada has released a new report mapping the generation gap between the South and the North and Hynes pointed out that the map looks different for a reason.
"The numbers tend to be higher in northern portions of provinces or in the territories, and it's not surprising that there's likely a correlation between a younger population and an aboriginal population.
Aboriginal communities tend to be younger because there's a higher birth rate and a lower life expectancy.
The youngest are in Northern Saskatchewan, Nunavut and Northern Manitoba, where 30 per cent of the people there are under 15.
The board's outlook estimates that by 2025, seniors in the South will make up 20 per cent of the population, while in the NWT, seniors will only account for 12 per cent.
So while the North may focus on economic development, the South will be concerned about health care and funding pension plans, as those regions see an increasingly aging population.
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