Mega-trend: will population aging and lifecourse trends soon destroy the legitimacy of the retirement income system?
Author: Peter Hicks
The wind-up conference of the PCLC cluster last week in Ottawa (March 19 and 20, 2015) was terrific in looking back at what has been learned and in looking ahead, particularly in needed directions for accessing new data. Congratulations to all involved in putting together such a fine event.
There is one mega trend on the horizon that, I think, warrants particular attention, especially for researchers and policy people who are interested in the combined effects of demographic change and lifecourse behaviours. It is a change that only becomes obvious when examined from both perspectives, but is nevertheless a change that has huge potential implications for policy – including impacts that could occur over the next 5 to 10 years.
I am referring to the combined effects of the large numbers of baby boomers who will reach traditional retirement ages over the next decade and the likelihood that lifecourse trends among people in their 60s towards working much later in life will continue, and possibly accelerate, during this same period.
The sharp trend towards working later among people in their late 50s and 60s, which started in the mid-1990s, is perhaps the largest shift in lifecourse patterns that we have seen for decades. The policy implications could be huge in many policy areas, including employment and immigration policy, but most obviously in pension policy. Yet it has received little attention from either policy people or researchers.
Many pensions are designed such that benefits can be paid out at a certain age – age 65 in the case of OAS and GIS or in an actuarially-adjusted range that centres on age 65 in the case of CPP and QPP. Many large defined-benefit private pensions are also age-centred, often with pensions possible below the age of 65 depending on length of service – although, in some cases, people need to change employers to get the benefits at that age. The mega trend over the past two decades towards working later (whether because people have to work longer for financial reasons or want to) has not had a big effect on pensions during the last two decades since, during this period, people have still been retiring, on average, many year before the official pension age of 65. Average retirement ages are still under 65 but, if existing trends continue, that will change in the next several years. We will soon see ever-larger numbers of people working past the age of pension eligibility.
When that happens, the existing retirement income system will increasingly distribute funds regressively. Increasingly pensions will be paid to people who are still working, with many of those working at their peak lifetime earnings.
In short, existing pension designs will soon result in a major and ever-increasing inequality of income at the level of society and a misallocation of lifecourse incomes at the level of the individuals.
Unless something happens, however, this trend will not become generally known until it actually happens and then we are likely to find ourselves in crisis mode.
All the obvious solutions are difficult, if not impossible, to implement quickly.
One potential solution would be to raise the age of entitlement to pension benefits to be more in line with actual retirement patterns. However that would be met with large opposition, and for good reason. First, it might make sense on average but, when one looks at distributions, it could make things worse for those who are most vulnerable in society. Second, pension changes need to be introduced gradually so that people have many years to plan for their retirement – and my calculations suggest that pension ages would need to rise by about 5 years over the next decade and a half to keep up with likely changes in people’s retirement behaviours. Sudden increases of that magnitude would create massive disruption in the planning of those who are now working and planning their retirement.
Another theoretical solution – of clawing back all high pension incomes through taxation, as is now the case for OAS – would likely be too unpopular to contemplate.
Still another avenue of solution – to speed up the shift away from use of age in determining pension eligibility that has already started to happen with the shift to defined-contribution arrangements and the growth of lifetime accounts – would also have potentially large distributional consequences that would need to be understood and, if required, compensated for by even further changes in other social programs.
There is no solution that could happen quickly without causing some form of crisis. But the potential scope of that crisis could be eased a bit if researchers were to make policy people aware of the scope of the potential problems ahead. Right now, very few people even realize that there is a big problem in on the near horizon.
For those interested, I published a rough set of numbers about the effects of continued trends to later retirement in a C. D. Howe article a couple of years ago (https://www.cdhowe.org/later-retirement-the-win-win-solution/17048). I also discuss the policy implications at some length in a forthcoming essay, The Enabling Society, by the Institute for Research on Public Policy (irpp.org, likely to be released on their web site in the first or second week of April). The IRPP essay attempts to show how lifecourse considerations can shape not only policy research and analysis, but also the very design of policies and programs. (It also has a lot to say about the research and data topics that were discussed at some length at the conference.)
However my calculations are based on crude averages and back-of-the envelope Excel calculations. What would be of much greater interest would be a proper analysis by real researchers that looked at, for example, the distributional as well as the average consequences of later retirement and of the effects of potential policy changes that attempt to respond to these real world trends. I think people connected with the PCLC cluster might want to see that as a main challenge in future collaborative work, whatever form that may take.
About the author: Peter Hicks is a former Assistant Deputy Minister in several federal government departments, mainly in the area of social and labour market policies. He also worked for the OECD in Paris, coordinating work on the policy implications of population aging.
Immigration and Labour Force Growth: Watch out for Misleading Generalizations.
Rod Beaujot and Don Kerr, Western University
In his introduction to the 2014 annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, the current Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, emphasized that “immigration is soon to become Canada’s primary source of net labour force growth” (CIC, 2014). Similarly in a 2009 speech, his predecessor Jason Kenney observed that ‘with the demographic changes that will soon start to take hold, within a few years one hundred percent of Canada’s labour market growth will be attributable to immigration’ (Kenney, November 19, 2009). This idea has long been promoted among decision makers in Ottawa, as for example, over a decade ago, the 2002 Annual Immigration Plan observed that ‘70 percent of labour force growth was due to immigration’ and roughly ‘30 percent was due to natural increase’ (Citizenship and Immigration, 2001:2). Yet such figures can be misleading, they are merely derived by dividing the number of immigrants who arrived over a specific period by the change in the size of the labour force over the same period. That shows what percentage of the change in the size of the labour force is due to immigration.
Let’s think a bit further on this: when the labour force is growing at a modest pace, as is now the case, this figure is not necessarily very meaningful, and can be misleading. For instance, if the labour force grew from 10,000,000 to 10,000,001 but one member of the labour force was an immigrant, then 100 percent of the labour force growth would be due to the arrival of that one person. It is more useful to look at the relative size of the internal and external sources of entry into the labour force.
For instance, the number of people turning say 20 in 2013 was roughly 480,000, while immigration was about 260,000. Of course, neither group would be completely in the labour force. If we estimate that 90 percent of those who reach labour force age will be in the labour force at some point, and that about 75 percent of immigrants are aged 15–64 and would immediately enter the labour force, then we would have 627,000 additions to the labour force, of which 68.9 percent would be due to internal recruitment and only 31.1 percent due to immigration. That is, while immigration is an important source of recruitment to the labour force, its importance has been exaggerated. To suggest that we are being almost entirely reliant on immigration to maintain the labour force implies that there is little regeneration by all the people leaving Canadian schools, colleges and universities. It is absurd to say that our labour force will not be renewed unless we have immigration!
Clearly, immigration is an important source of recruitment, but there are other options. Moreover, depending excessively on immigration can also make us lazy about encouraging other sources of recruitment; that is, we fail to make the necessary investment in education and training and may neglect population groups that have low labour force participation. For instance, in 2012 the average hours worked per week is 38.9 for employed men and 32.9 for women. If women’s average hours were increased to that of men, it would be the equivalent of a 7.9 percent increase in the size of the labour force (Statistics Canada, 2013a, author’s calculations). Similarly, at ages 25 and over, the employment rate is 68.3 percent for men and 58.4 percent for women. Reducing that difference would be equivalent to a 6.9 percent increase in size of the labour force (Statistics Canada, 2013b, author’s calculations).
A clearer analysis of the underlying dynamics of labour force renewal and regeneration is necessary, without ignoring those groups in Canadian society that are unrepresented in the labour force. This is of fundamental importance in a context of rapid population aging, and potentially slower rates of population growth. Enough with these overly simplistic generalizations.
CIC 2014. Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration. Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration, 2002. Pursuing Canada’s commitment to immigration: the immigration plan for 2002. Ottawa: Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Hutchinson, Michael, 2002. “Baby boom bust.” Aboriginal Times 6(5), March 2002: 30-33.
Statistics Canada, 2013a. Labour force estimates, by usual hours worked, sex and age group
Kenney, Jason. 2009. Speaking Notes for the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to the 2009 Top Employer Summit “Helping Newcomers to Enter the Workforce.” Fairmont Royal York Hotel Toronto, Ontario November 19, 2009.
Statistics Canada, 2013a. Labour Force Estimates, hours worked, by sex and detailed age group (annual), 1976-2013. CANSIM 282-0016.
Statistics Canada. 2013b. Labour Force Estimates, by sex and detailed age group (annual), 1976-2013. CANSIM 282-0002.
Dated: 16 January 2015
Immigration and the population of Canada: Levels, diversity and economic integration
Professor Emeritus of Sociology
University of Western Ontario
As a demographer, I look at questions of immigration and associated policy, in part through the numbers of immigrants (see Beaujot and Raza, 2013; Kerr and Beaujot, 2013). While immigration is too important to be left to demographers, I would propose that the number of immigrants is an important consideration. Since 1989, immigration has been at levels that are high by historical standards. The labour market may be experiencing the cumulative effects of a long period with high immigration, along with the recent substantial increase in temporary foreign workers.
Theoretical context: migration in population history
In looking at migration in population history, and in theorizing about migration, it is useful to start with the concept of a “mobility transition” that accompanies the demographic transition (Zelinsky, 1971). The dislocations and the population growth associated with modernization and the demographic transition brought emigration pressure out of Europe, which was associated with colonialism and out-migration, not only to North America, Australia and New Zealand, but European movement to South America, Asia and Africa. Since about 1950, the demographic transitions in Asia, South America and Africa are bringing out-migration pressure, this time from the South to the North.
The penetration of capital into subsistence farming areas, the monetization of exchanges, with the associated displacement of labour, along with centre/periphery dynamics, bring both mobile populations and demand for labour in the largest cities (Massey et al., 1994). This demand for labour includes not only highly skilled labour, but also unskilled labour in underground economies and in care or domestic work (Piché, 2013). Once a migration stream is established, there is a tendency for it to be sustained, as those who have already moved seek to bring others, and as various networks, institutions and agents come to have vested interest in sustained migration (Simmons, 2010). As these agents and institutions help people to leave, along the way, and to get integrated, their interactions with migrants can also be exploitative and they also have vested interests in continued migration.
Phases of Canadian immigration
The phases of Canadian immigration are very much defined by changing contexts, inside and especially outside of Canada. In each phase, there are policy elements encouraging immigration, but others setting limits to immigration. It can be argued that, since 1989 we are in a new phase associated with strong globalization, the ascendancy of capital over labour, and a high level of immigration (Beaujot and Raza, 2013). That is, the constraints which operated in earlier phases, associated with exclusions, perceived absorptive capacity, and a reduction of immigration during periods of high unemployment, are not operative.
The diversities by places of origin have brought a decreasing proportion with European backgrounds, growth of the visible minority population, an increase in non-Christian religions, but not a large change in the proportions speaking the official languages of English and French. For instance, while 20% have mother tongues that are neither English or French, only 12% have these “other” languages as the most frequent language spoken at home, and less than 2% can speak neither of the official languages, with 18% speaking both languages. According to the 2011 Census, the first official language spoken is as follows: 75.5% English, 22.7% French, 1.1% both, and 1.8% neither. That is, French is down from its historic figure of about a third of the population.
The proportions foreign-born are already higher than those observed in the United States, and current patterns suggest that these proportions will be larger than those of Australia and New Zealand, some quarter century from now. That is, immigration is becoming a larger factor in population change in Canada compared to that observed in other traditional countries of immigration.
Declining economic welfare over cohorts
Since the early 1980s, the average entry wages have declined for the more recent immigration cohorts (Picot and Sweetman, 2005, 2012). This is happening in spite of the high proportions with university degrees, the high proportion in the economic class, the expansion of a knowledge-based economy, along with public statements that we need immigrants for economic reasons. These patterns are very different from those observed for post-war immigrants (the 1946-60 cohort) who were found to have lower average incomes than the Canadian born in 1961, but given age-sex groups largely had higher average incomes than the Canadian born in 1971 (Richmond and Kalbach, 1980). The cohorts of the 1970s have had similar experiences, but it took a longer period to reach the average incomes of the Canadian born (Beaujot and Rappak, 1990). Subsequent cohorts will probably never reach the average incomes of the Canadian born, controlling for age and gender.
In seeking an explanation for these patterns of declining economic performance over cohorts, Picot and Sweetman (2005) propose: (1) changing characteristics of immigrants by source countries, education, language ability and such factors, (2) decreasing economic returns to foreign work experience, and (3) a general decline in labour market outcomes of all new entrants to the labour force. In a further analysis covering 1980-2005, Hou (2013) concludes that (1) changing characteristics of immigrants plays the largest role, especially in the 1980s, (2) the second factor is the increasing returns to Canadian experience, which benefit the Canadian born, and (3) a third factor is the miss-match between labour supply and demand which especially disadvantaged immigrants of the early 2000s, who were concentrated in the IT sector when this sector was undergoing a decline.
Some authors have argued that the changing characteristics of immigrants hides questions of discrimination toward visible minorities. However, not all evidence supports this explanation (Yoshida and Smith, 2008). For instance, comparing 15 birthplace groups in the 1981 Census, and controlling for age, women from Africa and Southeast Asia had incomes 9% to 10% above the Canadian born, while men from Africa and South Asia had incomes 3% to 4% above the Canadian born (Beaujot et al., 1988: 54). While the overall patterns between 1980 and 2000 showed a larger proportion of recent immigrants subject to low income status, this increased proportion did not apply to immigrants from South-East Asia, the Caribbean and South and Central America (along with United States and Western Europe). At the same time, the increasing levels of low income apply not only to recent immigrants from South Asia, East Asia, West Asia and Africa, but also from Northern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Southern Europe (Picot and Hou, 2003). It was also the sending areas of South Asia, East Asia, West Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe from which an increasing share of immigrants were arriving over the period 1980-2000.
Integrating larger numbers of immigrants
A further explanation can be proposed, for the decreased entry wages over cohorts: the difficulty of integrating the higher numbers of immigrants who have been arriving in the current phase of globalization, especially since 1989. While the post-war immigrants of 1946-60 were following a hiatus where there had been little immigration, the immigrants of the period since 1989 have faced the opposite situation: large numbers of immigrants in preceding years. We may be experiencing the cumulative consequences of high immigration, compounded by the added pressure of a major increase in temporary foreign workers. It can be argued that high levels of immigration cannot be sustained if the economic integration of immigrants remains an objective (Laplante et al., 2011; Bélanger, 2013; Bélanger and Bastien, 2013), and that open immigration is contrary to a welfare state (Grubel, 2005; Collier, 2013).
Questions associated with the level of immigration may also be relevant to comparisons between Canada and the United States. Over the period 1990-2000, the entry wages of university-educated immigrants declined in Canada relative to the Canadian born, while wages of new immigrants increased in the United States (Bonikowska et al., 2011). This may be related to the higher immigration in Canada: over the period 1990-2005, the net immigration relative to the 1990 population represented 8.9% in Canada compared to 7.6% in the United States. During the period 1990 to 2000, the percent of new adult immigrants who had university degrees increased from 25% to 47% in Canada, while the increase in the United States was only from 30% to 34%.
Instead of pushing the argument of a labour shortage, which is perpetuated by the interest of capital, we should instead better equip Canadian workers with the education, training and skills that employers are seeking, and mobilize unemployed workers to work in areas with a greater need for workers (McQuillan, 2013; see also Drummond, 2013; Halliwell, 2013; Burleton et al., 2013). Besides serving the interest of employers rather than labour, and putting a downward pressure on wages, a high level of immigration, and of temporary foreign worker entries, can undermine the labour market adjustments based on working conditions, wages, training and internal migration. Other relevant considerations are policies for parental leave and child care that can increase work-life balance and the labour participation of both parents (Beaujot et al., 2013).
Canada benefits by receiving a diversity of immigrants, based on immigration classes, areas of origin, occupations, and education or skills. The challenge of policy is to maintain this diversity while also ensuring that the number of arrivals does not exceed the levels that can be effectively integrated, and that immigration does not undermine the opportunities of other Canadians, including youth, Aboriginals and persons with disabilities. An excessive focus on economic considerations can also undermine the Canadian generosity towards refugees and family reunification.
Beaujot, Roderic, K.G. Basavarajappa, and R.B.P. Verma. 1988. Income of immigrants in Canada: A Census Data Analysis. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Cat. No. 91-527.
Beaujot, Roderic, Ching Jiangqin Du and Zenaida Ravanera. 2013. Family policies in Quebec and the rest of Canada: Implications for fertility, child-care, women’s paid work, and child development indicators. Canadian Public Policy 39(2): 221-239.
Beaujot, Roderic and J. Peter Rappak. 1990. The evolution of immigrant cohorts. Pp. 111-139 in Ethnic Demography, edited by S. Halli et al., Carleton University Press.
Beaujot, Roderic and Muhammad Munib Raza. 2013. Population and immigration policy. Pp. 129-162 in M. Kasoff and P. James, Canadian Studies in the New Millennium. Second Edition. University of Toronto Press.
Bélanger, Alain, 2013. The impact of Canadian immigrant selection policy on future imbalances in labour force supply by broad skill levels. Paper presented at Conference on Income, Health, and Social Programs in an Aging Population, sponsored by Cluster on Population Change and Lifecourse, 27 March 2013, Ottawa. https://sociology.uwo.ca/cluster/en/documents/2013March27-28EventOttawa/BelangerLFSupplyandDemand.pdf
Bélanger, Alain and Nicolas Bastien. 2013. The future composition of the Canadian labor force: A microsimulation projection. Population and Development Review 39(3): 509-525.
Bonikowska, Aneta, Feng Hou and Garnett Picot. 2011. A Canada-US comparison of labour market outcomes among highly educated immigrants. Canadian Public Policy 37(1): 25-48.
Burleton, Derek, Sonya Gulati, Connor McDonald and Sonny Scarfone. 2013. Jobs in Canada: Where, what and for whom? TD Economics
Collier, Paul. 2013. Exodus: How migration is changing our world. Oxford University Press.
Drummond, Don. 2013. Is Canada’s great skill shortage a mirage? The Toronto Star, 3 September 2013.
Grubel, Herbert. 2005. Immigration and the welfare state in Canada: Growing conflicts, constructive solutions. Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, Public Policy Series no. 84.
Halliwell, Cliff. 2013. No shortage of opportunity: Policy ideas to strengthen Canada’s labour market in the coming decade. Montreal: Institute for Research on Public Policy. Hou, Feng. 2013. Immigrant entry earnings over the past quarter-century: The roles of changing characteristics and returns to skills. Canadian Studies in Population 40(3-4): 149-163.
Hou, Feng and Garnett Picot. 2013. Annual levels of immigration and immigrant entry earnings. Paper presented at the Conference on the Economics of Migration, Ottawa, 18-19 October 2013.
Kerr, Don and Roderic Beaujot. 2013. Immigration and the population of Canada. Manuscript of Chapter 5, Population Change in Canada, 3rd Edition. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
Kustec, Stan. 2012. The role of migrant labour supply in the Canadian labour market. Ottawa: Research and Evaluation, Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Laplante, Benoît, Jean-Dominique Morency and Maria Constanza Street. 2011. Policy and fertility: An empirical study of childbearing behaviour in Canada. Manuscript.
Massey, Douglas, Joaquin Arango, Graeme Hugo, Ali Kouaouci, Adela Pellegrino and J. Edward Taylor. 1994. An evaluation of international migration theory: The North American Case. Population and Development Review 20(4): 699-751.
McDonald, James Ted and Christopher Warswick. 2013. Intergeneratonal implications of immigration policy on apprenticeship training and the educational distribution in Canada. Canadian Public Policy 39S: 165-185.
McQuillan, Kevin. 2013. All the workers we need: Debunking Canada’s labour-shortage fallacy. SPP Research Papers. Calgary: The School of Public Policy. Piché, Victor. 2013. Les fondements des théories migratoires contemporaines. Pp. 15-60 in V. Piché, Editor, Les théories de la migration. Paris : Institut National d’Etudes Démographiques.
Picot, Garnett and Feng Hou. 2003. The rise in low-income among immigrants in Canada. Analytical Studies Research Paper Series. Ottawa: Statistics Canada Cat. No. 11F0019MIE No. 262.
Picot, Garnett and Arthur Sweetman. 2005. The deteriorating economic welfare of immigrants and possible cuases: Update 2005. Analytical Studies Research Paper Series. Ottawa: Statistics Canada Cat. No. 11F0019MIE2003198. Picot, Garnett and Arthur Sweetman. 2012. Making it in Canada. Institute for Research in Public Policy Study No. 29.
Richmond, Anthony and Warren Kalbach. 1980. Factors in the adjustment of immigrants and their descendants. Ottawa: Statistics Canada Cat. No. 99-761.
Simmons, Alan. 2010. Immigration and Canada: Global and transnational perspectives. Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press. Statistics Canada. 2012. Canada’s immigrant labour market, 2008 to 2011. The Daily, 14 December 2012, pp. 10-12.
Statistics Canada. 2013, Immigration and Ethnocultural diversity in Canada, National Household Survey, 2011. Ottawa: Statistics Canada Cat. No. 99-010-X2011001.
Sweetman, Arthur and Casey Warman. 2013. Canada’s immigration selection system and labour market outcomes. Canadian Public Policy 39: S141-S164
Yoshida, Yoko and Michael R. Smith. 2008. Measuring and mismeasuring discrimination against visible minority immigrants: The role of work experience. Canadian Studies in Population 35(2): 311-338.
Zelinsky, Wilbur. 1971. The hypothesis of the mobility transition. Geographical Review 61(2): 219-249.
Jacques Henripin (1926-2013), pionnier de la démographie au Québec
Ancien directeur de la Division de démographie de Statistique Canada
La fécondité fut le sujet de prédilection de Jacques Henripin tout au long de sa carrière. Il s’intéressera non seulement aux causes de ses variations, mais aussi aux conséquences de la faible fécondité, en particulier au vieillissement de la population qui en résulte ainsi qu’à la baisse du poids des francophones qui pourrait l’accompagner. L’étude de la fécondité en Nouvelle-France fut du reste au centre de la thèse de doctorat qu’il soutint à Paris en 1954. Celle-ci fut publiée la même année par l’Institut national d’études démographiques, alors dirigé par Alfred Sauvy. Professeur à l’Université de Montréal à partir de 1954, Jacques Henripin publia dans la décennie qui suivit, seul ou avec des collaborateurs, de nombreux articles, rapports et chapitres de livres sur les aspects les plus variés de la démographie.
Rien d’étonnant que l’Université de Montréal pense à lui pour fonder en 1964 le département de démographie et en assurer la direction jusqu’en 1973. « Peut-être n’est-ce pas un hasard, écrivit Jacques Henripin en 1968, que le seul département de démographie de toutes les universités canadiennes ait été créé au sein d’une société qui vit sous la menace latente d’un engloutissement par un groupe linguistique trente-cinq fois plus nombreux. »
Les mutations de la fécondité
Le Bureau fédéral de la statistique (ancêtre de Statistique Canada) lança un vaste programme d’analyse visant à mettre en valeur les résultats du Recensement de 1961 et confia à Jacques Henripin la monographie sur la fécondité. Outre les analyses approfondies de la fécondité différentielle menées à l’aide des données censitaires alors les plus récentes, il actualisa les estimations de la fécondité antérieures à la mise place des statistiques nationales de l’état civil dans les années 1920. Il tira aussi parti des données les plus récentes sur les naissances pour mesurer et analyser les mouvements de la fécondité jusqu’en 1965. Le baby-boom avait atteint un sommet en 1959. L’indice conjoncturel de fécondité s’élevait alors à 3,93 enfants par femme au Québec, contre 3,77 en Ontario, soit une surfécondité du Québec de 4 %. Celle-ci faisait suite à une baisse rapide depuis la fin de la Première Guerre mondiale. Elle était passée de 64 % en 1921, à 51 % en 1937, à 18 % en 1951 et, rappelons-le, à seulement 4 % en 1959. La fécondité diminua partout au Canada de 1959 à 1965, mais plus au Québec (3,03 en 1965) qu’en Ontario (3,22); la surfécondité du Québec s’était transformée en sous-fécondité de 6 %. La chute de la fécondité s’observait dans plusieurs pays occidentaux. C’était là l’amorce d’une tendance de fond qui ferait passer la fécondité sous le seuil de remplacement des générations dès 1971 au Québec (1,9 enfant par femme). En douze ans, de 1959 à 1971, la fécondité s’était réduite de plus de 50 %!
Pour comprendre cette mutation, une enquête approfondie fut réalisée au Québec en 1971 auprès d’un échantillon représentatif des femmes mariées et un suivi fut effectué en 1976 auprès de celles qui étaient âgées de 15 à 35 ans lors de l’enquête de 1971. Jacques Henripin et Évelyne Lapierre-Adamcyk ont rendu compte de la première en 1974 et se sont associés à deux autres auteurs (Paul-Marie Huot et Nicole Marcil-Gratton) pour livrer un bilan d’ensemble dans un second ouvrage publié en 1981.
Les femmes ont, en 1971, des « aspirations fort élevées » pour leurs enfants : 80 % d’entre elles souhaitent que leurs fils fréquentent l’université, contre 70 % pour leurs filles. Les mères privilégient d’évidence la qualité sur la quantité. La contraception est connue et pratiquée. La continence périodique et la pilule sont les méthodes les plus utilisées. En matière de contraception, une tendance nouvelle émerge en 1976. Elle laisse en marge les derniers effluves de la tradition. La continence périodique, admise par l’Église catholique, avait été « la méthode de loin la plus utilisée au Québec ». Sa popularité avait décru « chez les femmes mariées après 1960 ». En 1971, un « tiers des contraceptrices âgées de moins de 35 ans l’utilisaient encore ». Sa pratique, en 1976, était devenue presque marginale. L’utilisation de la pilule est aussi en baisse, en raison d’un « très fort mouvement de recours à la stérilisation ». Il s’est déclenché entre 1971 et 1976. C’est aussi au cours de cette période que s’amorcent la baisse de popularité du mariage et la montée de l’union libre.
L’évolution de la composition linguistique
La baisse draconienne de la fécondité au cours des années 1960 modifie l’équilibre entre les groupes linguistiques à l’échelle du Canada. Le pourcentage de francophones se maintenait dans le long terme grâce à leur surfécondité. Il diminuait dans les périodes de forte immigration qui profitaient aux tierces langues dont les locuteurs ou leurs enfants adoptaient massivement l’anglais dans l’ensemble du pays. Lorsque l’immigration était anémique, par exemple au cours des années 1930 et 1940, le pourcentage de francophones s’élevait. La surfécondité des francophones s’est atténuée dans les années 1950 et est disparue, même s’est renversée, par la suite. C’est pourquoi l’on observe une réduction du poids des francophones dans l’ensemble du pays depuis 1951. Tout au long de sa carrière, Henripin a souligné qu’il ne voyait pas ce qui pourrait renverser cette tendance lourde, car toutes les composantes de l’accroissement démographique étaient défavorables aux francophones.
Au Québec, c’est plus complexe, comme nous l’avons montré, Jacques Henripin et moi, dans un ouvrage sur la situation démolinguistique au Canada publié en 1980. La proportion de francophones a peu varié autour de 80 % depuis 1871. Quant à la proportion d’anglophones, elle a diminué continûment de 1871 à 2001. Le nombre d’anglophones a même chuté de 1976 à 2001. Les tensions sociopolitiques dont le Québec a été le théâtre dans les années 1960 ainsi que les politiques linguistiques mises en place en 1974 (loi 22) et en 1977 (loi 101) ont notamment eu pour effets d’améliorer le statut du français et d’augmenter son attraction. Du point de vue de l'évolution de la composition linguistique, ces effets sur les transferts linguistiques furent relativement faibles par comparaison à la montée des départs vers le reste du pays des anglophones et des allophones anglicisés, à partir du lustre 1966-1971, avec une recrudescence entre 1976 et 1981. C’est ce qui explique la réduction du nombre d’anglophones dans le dernier quart du XXe siècle. Les pertes nettes au titre de la migration interprovinciale ont diminué depuis 2001, en particulier pour les anglophones. Il s’ensuit que leur nombre et leur proportion s’élèvent quelque peu depuis lors, une première depuis plus d’un siècle. Quant aux francophones, leur proportion a tendance à diminuer à partir de 2001 en raison de la forte immigration qui pousse à la hausse la proportion d’allophones. Pour mieux tenir compte des circonstances nouvelles, ne faudrait-il pas considérer des définitions plus inclusives des groupes linguistiques, à l’instigation notamment de Jacques Henripin qui en proposa une et l’utilisa dans une note publiée, en juillet 2012, dans le bulletin de liaison des démographes du Québec?
Les politiques de population
Jacques Henripin s’est toujours intéressé aux politiques de population, notamment aux mesures propres à redresser une fécondité nettement inférieure au seuil de remplacement des générations et aux actions devant permettre à la société de s’adapter au vieillissement inéluctable des populations. Il ne s’est pas contenté de lancer des débats et de faire des propositions, il en a chiffré approximativement les coûts, souvent par des méthodes fort ingénieuses. De nombreuses actions engagées, les évaluations qui en sont faites et les discussions qui se poursuivent d’une part pour concilier le travail avec les responsabilités familiales et d’autre part pour adapter aux conséquences du vieillissement démographique les régimes de retraite, le système de santé et le soutien aux aidants proches doivent beaucoup à ses analyses et aux contributions qu’il a faites dans les débats publics.
Pour les démographes d’ici et d’ailleurs, il fut un modèle de rigueur et d’imagination et une source d’inspiration, que l’on partage ou non ses opinions. Il avait à ce propos une qualité rare : celle de changer d’opinions rapidement, immédiatement parfois, au vu de nouvelles données jugées fiables ou d’une étude rigoureuse qui rejetait une idée qui lui était chère. Je nous souhaite tous son audace, sa franchise et sa probité.
We would like to thank all the students and trainers for participating in the 4th CPS Graduate Student Development Conference, hosted by the Population Change and the Life Course Strategic Knowledge Cluster. This year, the conference has been led by the new CPS student representative, Md Kamurl Islam and assisted by the former organizers, Georgios Fthenos and Stacey Hallman.
This workshop helped facilitate networks between established professionals in the fields of demography and population change in Canada and students interested in doing research in the future. It aimed to provide resources to those students interested in Canadian population studies and to help familiarize professionals with the work being done by current graduate students.
We would like to thank the many individuals who helped organize the workshop, including Dr. Roderic Beaujot and Dr. Zenaida Ravanera from the Population Change and Strategic Knowledge Cluster, Dr Zheng Wu, Dr. Eric Fong, Western University, The University of Alberta, The University of Victoria, members of the Canadian Population Society, and all the student presenters and their trainers. We hope that the participants enjoyed the workshop and that we will see many of you at the 2014 CPS Graduate Student Development Conference in St Catherines, Ontario.
Kamrul, Georgios & Stacey
2013 CPS Graduate Research Development Conference Organizers
Census release on families, households and marital status in Canada, 2011:
Dated: September 17, 2012
Roderic Beaujot, Department of Sociology, Western University
What is new?
In anticipating the Census Release of 19 September 2012, I am borrowing the subtitle, “Diversification continues” from the release on families and households in the 2001 Census (Statistics Canada, 2002, 2007). Besides the decline of “traditional” families, the 2001 Census profile emphasized common-law families and lone-parent families. In the 2006 Census, we had not only common-law but also married same sex couples. The 2011 Census for the first time includes step families.
Besides the diversity associated with married or common-law, opposite-sex or same-sex, intact or step families, the subsequent releases based on the National Household Survey will allow us see the diversity associated with the number of earners in the family (one-earner, two-earner).
Step families: How are they counted?
The family relationships of adults listed in the household are identified through their “Relationship to Person 1". In 2011 the response categories have been expanded to include: son or daughter of both persons 1 and 2, son or daughter of person 1 only, and son or daughter of person 2 only.
Besides lone-parent families (male or female parent), families with children will now include:
What we will know from the census release on 19 September 2012?
We will know the relative numbers of families of various types: married, common-law, same-sex, opposite-sex, lone-parent, intact, stepfamilies, simple stepfamilies and complex stepfamilies. We will also know how the distribution of family types varies across the country.
Previously, we have depended on the General Social Survey on families for these data (see in particular Juby et al., 2001; Beaupré et al., 2010).
What we will only know later about families of various types?
Previous research has found important variation across family types in terms of well-being and the well-being of children in particular (e.g. Statistics Canada 2008; Beaujot, 2000; McQuillan and Ravanera, 2006; Ravanera et al., 2009) . This research shows important contrasts between two-earner couples, compared to breadwinner and lone-parent families. The two-earner couples also differ based on the occupational status of each spouse. Once the data from the National Household Survey are released, we will be able to analyze these socio-economic differences.
For instance we will be able to see how the well-being of children differs across family types: two-earner or one-earner, lone-parent, intact or step.
Only through further analysis, beyond the census, will we come to understand why the well-being of children differs across these family types. My answer for the time being: It is not the type of family that matters as much as the quality of human and social capital transfers from adults to children (Ravanera and Rajulton, 2010). Some authors have proposed that the quality of the co-parenting social capital can be an important source of differences (Amato, 1998; Beaujot, 2000: 296-8).
Amato, Paul R. 1998. More than money? Men’s contributions to their children’s lives. In A. Booth and A.C. Crouter, Editors, Men in Families: When do they get involved? What difference does it make? Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Beaujot, Roderic. 2000. Earning and Caring in Canadian Families. Peterborough: Broadview.
Beaujot, Roderic. 2012. Aging in Canada – the aging of the past will be different from the aging of the future. Blog available at: https://pclc-cppv.typepad.com/changes-in-patterns-and-t/
Beaujot, Roderic. 2012. Why do we still need a census? Blog available at https://pclc-cppv.typepad.com/changes-in-patterns-and-t/
Beaupré, Pascale, Michael Wendt and Heather Dryburgh. 2010. Making fathers ‘count’. Canadian Social Trends 90: 26-34.
Juby, Heather, Nicole Marcil-Gratton and Céline Le Bourdais, 2001. A step further in family life: The emergence of the blended family. Pp. 169-203 in Report on the Demographic Situation in Canada 2000. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
McQuillan, Kevin and Zenaida Ravanera. Editors. 2006. Canada’s Changing Families: Implications for Individuals and Society. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Ravanera, Zenaida, Roderic Beaujot and Jianye Liu. 2009. Models of earning and caring: Determinants of the division of work. Canadian Review of Sociology 46(4): 319-337.
Ravanera, Zenaida and Fernando Rajulton. 2010. Measuring social capital and its differentials by family structures. Social Indicators Research 95: 63-89.
Statistics Canada, 2002. Profile of Canadian families and households: Diversification continues, 2001 Census. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, Cat. No. 96F0030XIE2001003.
Statistics Canada, 2007. Family portrait: Continuity and change in Canadian families and households in 2006, 2006 Census. Ottawa: Statistics Canada Cat. No. 97-553-XIE.
Statistics Canada, 2008. Earnings and incomes of Canadians over the past quarter century, 2006 Census. Ottawa: Statistics Canada Cat. No. 97-563-X.
Dated August 27, 2012
Revised version of presentation at Panel on “Why do we still need a census” organized by the International Migration Centre, the Canadian Association of Geographers and the Canadian Population Society, Waterloo, 29 May 2012.
At its meetings last year, ACFAS, the Association francophone pour le savoir, had a two-day colloquium on “La fin des recensement?”. In his keynote address, Belgian demographer Dominique Tabutin (2011) observed that among 32 European countries for which there was information, 30 had traditional censuses in the 1970 round, 26 in 1990, 20 in 2000, and we could expect the number to be down to 15 or 16 in the 2010 round. That is, half of European countries will be based on other procedures than traditional censuses.
Demographers typically define a census as involving four elements that are included in all international recommendations: (1) enumeration and registration of information on each person and each household, (2) complete geographic coverage, (3) undertaken at a given time and (4) with regular intervals.
As Tabutin further observes, the value of the census as a system of socio-demographic information is universally recognized as essential for public administration at the national, regional and local levels. Except in the rare cases of countries that have excellent registration systems, these traditional census data are irreplaceable.
That is, while we can remove the requirement of “undertaken at a given time and with regular intervals”, we do still need a census in the sense of a basic information on each person and each household, with a complete geographic coverage. In the Canadian case, even though the provinces are responsible for the administration of health, education and welfare, the Federal Government has the constitutional responsibility for census and statistics.
The information is needed
Before discussing alternatives, let me emphasize that we need the information typically collected in a census. The lack of Federal Government affirmation of the importance of this information was the most disheartening aspect of the census debate of the summer of 2010, if we can call it a debate. It would appear that some of our political leaders consider that government can be based on values and good ideas, without the need for data and research. This is not unlike the view in some social science circles, that we should move to a post-empirical approach that is based on theory and qualitative approaches rather than empirical data. While policy needs also to be based on values and good ideas, and while there is clearly room in the social sciences for theoretical and qualitative approaches, we must not eclipse empirical approaches.
The case for the census has been made by various authors and commentators. In a 1999 article published in Survey Methodology, and again in the 2011 Symons Lecture, Ivan Fellegi (1999, 2011) makes an excellent case for a statistical system that ensures confidentiality, pertinence and that is independent of politics. It is also useful to quote from the four excellent commentaries in the September 2010 issue of Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de politiques. Debra Thompson (2010) makes the case for objective and accurate statistics “to inform decision-making inside and outside government and to allow the society to question and judge whether or not the government is acting in its best interests.” She calls for “an informed discussion over the desirability and feasibility of strengthening the institutional autonomy of Statistics Canada.” David Green and Kevin Milligan (2010) make the case that a voluntary approach will affect data quality in a variety of domains that go beyond the census, and that impartially provided statistics are of vital importance “for the functioning of modern economies.” Lisa Dillon (2010) makes the case for historical and international comparability and promoting “participation in statistical inquiries as an essential part of citizenship in a modern democracy.” Michael Veall (2010) argues for a reversal of the June 2010 decision: there is insufficient evidence that a voluntary survey would maintain data quality.
It is also useful to recognize the symbolic value of the census, and it is possibly here that we also run into the most serious discussions. As Richard Shearmur (2011) observes, the census has a symbolic value, not unlike history, literature, maps and museums, in defining ourselves as a country. This symbolic value is readily apparent in the media attention given to census releases.
After affirming the importance placed by Fellegi (1999) on good data for proper democratic debate and decision making, Jean-Pierre Beaud (2010; 2012) proposes that certain conservatives are especially objecting to an image given of Canadian society that is promoted through the census. This image is based on minorities to such a point that it sidelines the majority, defined as a collectivity of individuals, families and enterprises. In addition, campaigns like “Call Me Canadian!” have introduced a strong subjective element in census data. As Pierre Bourdieu (1973) would say: By asking questions that respondents often do not ask themselves, statistical summaries create a skewed public opinion, especially if there are strong elements of political correctness. Examples of political correctness would include “Canadian” ethnicity, pride of origins, Aboriginal origins, diversity, visible minority, and equal division of work and parenting. That is, in as much as it moves into subjective domains, the census in effect measures adherence to collective values and at stake is the representation of these values.
What kind of census in 2016 and 2021
Having made a case for empirical information, and a census that stays away from subjective information, let me treat the further question of what the 2016 and 2021 rounds should look like in Canada, and what data should be collected, before concluding with some observations regarding privacy.
For 2016, we have the excellent “Preliminary report on methodology options for the 2016 Census” by Don Royce (2011) of the Census Management Office at Statistics Canada. Royce lays out four census-taking approaches: traditional census, census employing existing administrative registers, traditional census with yearly updates of characteristics, and rolling census. He concludes that “the only possible option for the 2016 Census is some variant of the traditional census approach,” given the planning time available (p. 3). There is much more of value in this report, including continuing to take advantage of administrative records, improving the process for updating the Address Register, targeting non-response follow-up, and imputing of non-response.
For subsequent censuses, I would again agree with Don Royce (2011: 3): “Continuous measurement might be a possible approach for the 2021 or later censuses, but further user consultation, research and testing would be needed to determine whether it would have any advantages over the current approach of a census taken every five years.”
Turning to the data to be collected in the census, I would argue for expansion of the current short form, and using a voluntary household survey for other data. The census proper should first contain the questions from the 2011 census: sex (Q2), date of birth / age (Q3), marital and cohabitation status (Q4-5), relationship to person 1 (Q6, providing family composition), and first official language spoken (Q7-Q9). In my preliminary view, the following questions from the 2011 National Household Survey should be added to the census: activities of daily living (Q7-8), place of birth (Q9), Aboriginal / Status Indian (Q18, Q20-21), “is this person” (Q19), residence one year ago (Q23), residence five years ago (Q24), education (Q27-Q31, Q33), labour market activities (Q34-Q46, Q50, Q51) and income (Q54 and all parts of Q55). In effect, the questions would represent an expanded version of the Labour Force Survey, which is also mandatory. This is the information necessary to administer local programs, including school boards, health and care. It is also the information necessary to follow economic development at the national and regional levels, including labour supply and productivity.
In particular, I feel that we have gone into dangerous territory with questions like “ethnicity” that now measure a sense of identity, and we should stay with more “objective” indicators. The internationally recognized demographer of Canadian origins, Normand Ryder (1955) had argued long ago that we should drop “ethnicity” from the census because the data are not reliable. Now that “Canadian” is recognized as an identity, it makes for much interesting work by analysts to figure out what it all means, and we even seek to interpret non-response, but this is of limited value in administering the country. The Official Languages Act of 1988 uses the concept of “first official language spoken” which necessitates the collection of information on knowledge of official languages, home language and mother tongue (Lachapelle, 2012). That is, I would propose that the census restrict itself to the basic demographics, relationship to person 1, first official language spoken, activity limitations, Aboriginal / Indian Status, place of birth, migration, education, labour force status and income.
The remainder of the questions, including all the dwelling questions, should remain on the household survey. I would suggest some additions to the household survey compared to the 2011 version, especially children ever born and unpaid work.
Canadian censuses have developed the useful tactic of using a sample for all but the core demographic questions. The present suggestion could be adapted by dividing respondents into three categories: (1) only the core demographic questions, (2) the expanded short form respondents, and (3) household survey for whom only the core demographic questions would be mandatory and the remaining household survey would be voluntary.
Let me finish with a concluding observation that comes back to the question of privacy and associated political dimensions. In particular, we must engage in a discussion with the public and political leaders in justifying data collection in the face of felt needs for privacy. While libertarian and anti-statistics movements are not as well organized in Canada, they are part of the picture, and political leaders are well placed to be sensitive to these privacy questions. In analyzing this question, Richard Marcoux (2011) shows how the debate regarding releasing individual census data for 1911-2001, after 92 years, was a hot issue in political circles. See in particular the report by Bruce Phillips (2000), Privacy Commissioner of Canada in 1991-2000, to the Expert Panel on Access to Historical Census Records. Phillips argued that “privacy is not simply an individual right, but a public right, of value to society” and that “implications for privacy are implications for society.” While those arguing for not releasing the historical data as of the 1906 and 1911 censuses lost the battle, they may have come back to win the war by minimizing the data collected on the census. That is, we must not load the census with questions that go beyond those that can be justified toward political leaders and the public as being necessary to administer the country and its administrative regions.
Although most Canadians are very willing respondents to the census, 44.4% in 2006 and 18.4% in 2011 did not give authorization to the release of their individual information, even after 92 years. The fact that this figure is much lower in 2011 may reflect a greater willingness to provide information if the questions are more limited. In 2006, 82.4% were willing to let Statistics Canada collect their income data from Revenue Canada, but this means that 17.6% are not willing to grant this permission. Besides the 30% non-response to the 2011 National Household Survey, I would guess that there are a further 10% or so who did not respond to specific sensitive questions.
That is, the privacy concerns are real and we need both better data on this very question, and better discussion of the matter with the public and political leaders. We also need better information on questions of response burden and the ability to respond accurately to various questions, given literacy and numeracy.
Beaud, Jean-Pierre. 2010. Des usages politiques de la statistique. Policy Options / Options politiques, September 2010: 79-82.
Beaud, Jean-Pierre. 2012. Recensement et politique. Forthcoming in Cahiers québécois de démographie 41(2).
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1973. L’opinion publique n’existe pas. Les temps modernes 318: 1292-1309.
Dillon, Lisa. 2010. The value of the long form Canadian census for long term national and international research. Canadian Public Policy 36(3): 389-393.
Green, David A. And Kevin Milligan. 2010. The importance of the long form census to Canada. Canadian Public Policy 36(3): 383-388.
Fellegi, Ivan. P. 1999. Statistical Services: Preparing for the future. Survey Methodology 25(2): 113-128.
Fellegi, Ivan. 2011. Statistics, public confidence and lessons from the story of the 2011 Canadian Census. Symons Lecture.
Lachapelle, Réjean. 2012. Le recensement canadien en évolution: un recensement démolinguistique en 2011? Forthcoming in Cahiers québécois de démographie 41(2).
Marcoux, Richard. 2011. Et dire que nous n’avons rien vu venir: examen des fondements d’une décision politique lourde de conséquences concernant le recensement canadian. Paper presented at ACFAS meetings, 11-12 May 2011.
Phillips, Bruce. 2000. A submission by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to the Expert Panel on Access to Historical Census Records. 9 February 2000. Available at:
Royce, Don. 2011. Preliminary report on methodology options for the 2016 Census. Census Management Office, Statistics Canada, available at: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/strat/index-eng.cfm
Ryder, Normand. 1955. The interpretation of origin statistics. Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science 21(4): 466-479.
Shearmur, Richard. 2011. Le recensement et la construction de concepts et d’imaginaires. Paper presented at ACFAS meetings, 11-12 May 2011.
Tabutin, Dominique. 2011. La fin des recensements? Un vrai ou faux problème? Paper presented at ACFAS meetings, 11-12 May 2011.
Thompson, Debra. 2010. The politics of the census: Lessons from abroad. Canadian Public Policy 36(3): 377-382.
Veall, Michael R. 2010. 2B or not 2B? What should have happened with the Canadian long form census? What should happen now? Canadian Public Policy 36(3): 395-399.
New Brunswick Institute for Data, Research, and Training, University of New Brunswick
Candidates with a strong background in quantitative data analysis are invited to apply for a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the newly created New Brunswick Institute for Data, Research, and Training. The candidate’s previous research experience is open, but could focus on topics such as labour mobility, employment mismatch, household dynamics, and socioeconomic mobility. Familiarity with data stored in the Statistics Canada Research Data Centre is an asset, as is some experience with GIS mapping.
The successful individual will work with Michael Haan, Canada Research Chair in Population and Social Policy at the University of New Brunswick, on the SSHRC-funded project entitled On the Move: Employment-Related Geographical Mobility in the Canadian Context, a 2.5 million dollar, 7-year partnership grant that spans 17 disciplines and 22 universities across Canada and four other countries (PI Barbara Neis, Memorial University). Primary responsibilities will include assisting Haan in conducting an analysis of the community-, household-, and individual-level determinants of employment-related geographical mobility, an increasingly prevalent phenomenon in Canada.
The initial appointment is for one year with possible renewal for a second year, and carries an annual salary of $40,000 plus travel budget for conferences. Candidates will have office space in either Sociology or Economics (possibly shared), and the opportunity to apply to teach courses. Starting dates are flexible, but should be no later than October 1, 2012.
To apply, send by August 15, 2012:
All correspondence and materials should be sent to:
Professor Michael Haan
Canada Research Chair in Population and Social Policy
Departments of Sociology and Economics
135A Carleton Hall
University of New Brunswick
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5A3
For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to thank all the students and trainers for participating in the 2012 CPS Graduate Student Development Conference, hosted by the Population Change and the Life Course Strategic Knowledge Cluster. We were thrilled to have seven student presentations, followed by comments and suggestions from professionals working in the field of demography and population change. At the end of the day, comments from Sarah Fortin from the Canadian Research Data Centre Network gave the student participants valuable information about how to effectively communicate their research to the public.
We would like to thank the many individuals who helped us organize this workshop, including Dr. Roderic Beaujot and Dr. Zenaida Ravanera from the Population Change and Strategic Knowledge Cluster, Dr. Martin Cooke, Dr. Eric Fong, The University of Western Ontario, the members of the Canadian Population Society, and all the student presenters and their trainers.
We look forward to the 2013 CPS Graduate Research Development Conference in Victoria, British Columbia.
Georgios Fthenos, Stacey Hallman & France-Pascale Ménard