Saturday, July 16, 2005
Inuit population growing
Canada’s Inuit population still growing fast
By 2017, Inuit population will reach 68,400
Twelve years from now, the face of Nunavut will look much the same as it does today: four out of five residents will be young Inuit.
But there will be more Inuit in Nunavut and across Canada, says a recently-released Statistics Canada report that projects what Canada’s aboriginal population will be in 2017.
Of all the aboriginal populations in Canada, the Inuit population is growing most rapidly. The Inuit population will reach 68,400 in 2017 from 47,600 in 2001.
Only a major economic or climatic change could alter these projections, said the report’s main author.
That’s because Inuit women have a higher birth rate and more children than any other aboriginal group in Canada, the report says.
And fewer Inuit migrate to other regions than other aboriginal groups, says the report, but the main reason for the greater population increase is the high fertility rate among Inuit women.
According to Statistics Canada, by 2017, there will 971,200 Indians, 380,500 Métis and 68,400 Inuit in Canada.
The overall composition of Canada’s aboriginal population would not change significantly. The majority, 68 per cent, would be North American Indian; Métis would represent 27 per cent, and Inuit about five per cent — up from 4.5 per cent in 2001.
The study also says that in 2017:
- Inuit population will still be the youngest of all aboriginal populations in Canada. In 2001 the median age was 20.9. It will be 24 in 2017;
- Inuit children 14 and under will continue to represent a large share of the Inuit population. In 2017, one out of every three Inuit will be under 15;
- Inuit will remain the majority in Nunavut, with 84 per cent of the population;
- Eighty-five per cent of children in Nunavut will be Inuit;
- The number of Inuit children in Nunavut will increase from 9,700 in 2001 to 12,300. “It seems that early education could be a future pressure point,” the report says.
- The number of aboriginal youth in Canada aged 20 to 29 is expected to increase by 40 per cent. This age group is projected to increase to 242,000, more than four times the projected growth rate among the same age group in the general Canadian population.
- The number of aboriginal seniors aged 65 and older could double, although their share of the population would rise from only 4 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
Usually statistical studies cover longer periods of time, such as 20 years or more, but Statistics Canada performed the analysis of information collected in the 2001 census after a request from the Department of Heritage: the federal government wants more information about what Canada will look like on the 150th anniversary of Confederation.