“We're a country that relies on newcomers in terms of our economic and social future…”

—Susan McGrath

What might the implications of global peak population be for Canada?


In the 1980s, global population was growing exponentially, while Canada’s population, like that of many Western nations, was already peaking. United Nations estimates issued in 2010 indicated that several countries around the world now have peaking populations, and that global population may peak, or perhaps even begin to decline, by mid-century.

Global peak population is rekindling debates about population distribution, youth and aging, families, immigration, migration, urban versus rural lifestyles, societal values and “carrying capacity of the earth” with respect to resources, and climate change implications.

In this context, what might Canada’s population look like by 2030? What are the potential social, cultural, economic, urban and environmental implications?


Questions for further exploration:

  1. What do we need to understand in order to effectively nurture the next generations?
  2. What might Canadian families look like in five, 10, and 20 years, and how might they measure their well-being?
  3. Life cycle issues are challenging society, in Canada and around the world. What are the future implications of state regulation from cradle to grave?
  4. What effect will global migration have on our cities of the future?
  5. How could changing demographics and migration affect rural and remote communities—such as in the North, including the Arctic?
  6. What are the potential impacts of global peak population with respect to Canada’s energy and resource consumption and climate change?


Find out more about this Knowledge Synthesis Grant


Find out more about the previous Knowledge Synthesis Grant