Based on population estimates Nova Scotia’s population was 948,618 in 2016. Since 1961, near the end of the baby boom, the youth population (0 to 14 years of age) has declined from 35% to 14% of the total population. At the same time, seniors (ages 65 and over) have increased from 8% to 19% of the total population. The number of youth have dropped from 256 thousand in 1961 to 133 thousand in 2016, a decline of 48%. The number of seniors have increased from 63 thousand in 1961 to 183 thousand in 2016 which is an increase of almost three times. The shortage of schools and teachers of the 1960s and 1970s has given away to health facility, nursing home and doctor shortages. At the same time, the potential of seniors as a vibrant part of today’s economy and social fabric represents an opportunity that Nova Scotia must capitalize on.
Population pyramids are an effective visual demonstration of the effect of the aging population and relative number of people at each age group. The shrinking younger population is a combination of a decreasing birth rate and younger adults leaving the province for opportunities elsewhere.