The relationship between population and housing is inextricably linked. Population change leads to a changing demand for housing. Population growth, particularly a growth in the number of households, leads to a growth in housing demand. A recent report from Statistics Canada revealed important data on the future of Canada’s population, underscoring the need for more housing and infrastructure projects for the country’s rising population.
Canada’s population is growing faster than other G7 countries:
Canada’s population grew at almost twice the pace of every other G7 country in the last five years. Although growth slowed down with the pandemic, it started to rise again in 2021. By the first quarter of 2022, Canada’s population experienced its highest growth since the 1990’s. In a medium-growth scenario, the data projects that Canada’s population could reach 47.8 million by 2043, and 56.5 million by 2068 in a medium-growth scenario.
What provinces will experience the most growth?
Alberta is expected to have the highest growth in the country. In less than twenty years, its population is expected to increase between 31%-61%. For British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan – population is expected to grow between 11%-40%. Quebec’s population is projected to grow 12%-19%. In the territories, there is an expected population growth around 8%-28%.
On the other hand, Atlantic Canada’s population growth is expected to fall. Newfoundland and Labrador, for example, is the only province forecasted to have negative growth in every statistical scenario.
What does this mean for housing in Canada?
As Canada’s population is expected to become larger and older, experts say this will have huge implications for the country’s housing and health care needs. Mike Moffatt, professor at Western University’s Ivey Business School, says the report illustrates that Canada’s housing supply is “not sufficient to keep up with the growing population.” In order to plan for this level of growth, Canada will have to ensure that homes at all price points are available to accommodate for this speed of growth.
Are provinces and territories prepared for this type of growth?
Given the most extreme housing shortages are most severe in British Columbia and Ontario, Moffatt argued that these provinces are the least prepared to handle the growth. Without clearance and incentivization by policy makers for housing and infrastructure projects, provinces will be unable to accommodate a wide-ranged, rapid, population influx.
Interested in reading the full report?
Access it here: