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July 24, 2013

The real demographic challenge for Canadian policymakers is adapting to a population growing “younger,” after taking increased life expectancies into account, says a report released today by the C.D. Howe Institute.  In “The Main Challenge of Our Times: A Population Growing Younger,” authors Marcel Boyer and Sébastien Boyer propose an alternative approach to population aging, which measures years to live instead of years since birth. Since 1950, Canadian life expectancy, on average, has increased. For example, a 65-year-old in 2010 had the same life expectancy as a 59.5 year-old in 1950. “Canadians are experiencing increases in longevity and are willing to work longer than previous cohorts,” said Marcel Boyer. “Public policy should aim to provide Canadians with the instruments to better manage retirement decisions.”

Marcel Boyer