Why Canadians are living longer – and what that means for retirement

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Finance and Business

Life expectancy in Canada is currently about 83 years. Fifty years ago, it was about 73 years. Can we expect that trend to continue? Can Canadians a half-century from now really expect to live another 10 extra years?

According to UN population data, mortality rates have steadily declined for the past century in Canada and across the developed world. This corresponds with improvements in our diet, public infrastructure such as sanitation and waste treatment, safety standards, and the availability and quality of public health institutions such as hospitals and childhood immunization programs.

Can the life expectancy boost from these changes be sustained, or will these gains naturally trail off? And what new factors do we have to consider?

Actuaries are risk assessment professionals who advise on things like government policy on pensions and insurance. Some of them spend a lot of time considering life expectancy and the factors that affect it.

In looking for answers, they find that many of these advancements are a double-edged sword. Destruction of natural habitat threatens the world’s biodiversity. Pollution impacts our access to clean air and water. And microplastics can be found everywhere in the food chain.

Abundance has also contributed to an overall more sedentary lifestyle that can lead to health risks like an increase in Type 2 diabetes. And there are other strains on the health-care system, too, ranging from a shortage of primary care physicians to overuse of antibiotics and the long-term impacts of COVID-19.

How will all of these things impact life expectancy? The answer is unclear, but so is the path to longer lives for Canadians in the future. For their part, the UN projects our life expectancy will reach 89 years in 2074. Stay tuned to find out.

You can learn more about Canada’s actuaries and the work they do at cia-ica.ca

Related Content

4 tips for helping your kids buy a home

4 tips for helping your kids buy a home

With housing affordability shifting dramatically for a generation of Canadians, many hopeful homebuyers are turning to the “Bank of Mom and Dad” to help them secure their first home. While it’s natural for some parents to want to help their kids get a leg up in the...

read more
5 tips to get action on a consumer complaint

5 tips to get action on a consumer complaint

We’ve all experienced bad service at some point. While we have our thresholds of what we’re willing to tolerate, sometimes issues go beyond high prices or impolite customer service. If a company ignores their policies or doesn’t follow the rules, by overcharging you...

read more
Advice to help you pay off your mortgage faster

Advice to help you pay off your mortgage faster

Looking for ways to pay off your mortgage faster? Even small steps over time can make a big difference in how long it takes you to become mortgage-free. You’ll typically have opportunities to make changes to your mortgage that can help. Some of them you can make at...

read more
A new incentive to green-up your fleet

A new incentive to green-up your fleet

With companies increasingly focused on environmental, social and governance best-practices, looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint is a top priority for many of them. But investing in green products and materials often costs more than the conventional...

read more
5 tips to keep your farm animals safe

5 tips to keep your farm animals safe

During escalating challenges such as wildfires, flooding, extreme temperatures and the threat of viruses, the well-being of your animals is important. From comprehensive emergency planning to biosecurity measures and careful feeding practices, here are five tips to...

read more