Excerpted from summary
Canada is at a crossroads. Our population is aging, our workforce is not growing fast enough, and our fertility rate is dropping, with the population growth rate at its lowest in more than 100 years due to Covid-19.1 If these trends continue and the number of working-age people declines while the number of people depending on them increases, Canada’s economy will suffer. This will mean fewer tax dollars to support essential and high-quality programs and services—including health care, income security programs, and necessary infrastructure. It will mean that key industries will grow more slowly, be less dynamic, and be less competitive. Without a growing population, we will not have the resources—human or economic—to advance the country’s social, economic, or environmental goals.
To enhance Canada’s economic strength, diversity at home, and influence abroad, we must prioritize population growth. To set us on this path, Century Initiative has set an aspirational goal of achieving a population of 100 million people by 2100.
The path to population growth is about more than solving for demographics: it’s a hopeful and expansive vision for Canada founded in the goal of becoming a bigger, bolder country. To achieve this vision, we must “grow well” into the future. Growing well means ensuring that population growth is sustainable and that its benefits are shared by those who already call Canada their home and by those who will join us. This means closing critical gaps in outcomes that have developed for populations based on race, gender, Indigeneity, and immigration status. This also means working in collaboration with Canada’s provinces, territories, cities, towns, and Indigenous peoples. In this way, the specific population number is less important than the need to set an ambitious goal and work toward population growth that builds sustainable, shared prosperity.
Century Initiative’s National Scorecard on Canada’s Growth and Prosperity provides a strategic window into where Canada leads, remains on track, needs to focus attention, or is falling behind on the issues that will influence Canada’s future. In doing so, the Scorecard provides a policy and practice road map to build a more prosperous, equitable, diverse, and resilient Canada. If we measure progress, we can manage it, and make the strategic decisions needed to propel Canada forward.
In Canada and internationally, there are many scorecards, report cards, and other assessment tools that explore economic, social, and environmental progress across multiple dimensions. The unique value of this National Scorecard is its focus on Canada’s progress on growing well: achieving population growth that builds sustainable, shared prosperity toward the goal of 100 million Canadians by 2100.