Population Change and Lifecourse

2013 Archives - Cluster members in the media

October - December

December 13,2013 - Transition
Sharing the Double Burden: A New Model of Domestic Happiness

December 13,2013
Roderic Beaujot, Zenaida Ravanera and Jianye Liu

"At some point, most Canadian families feel crunched for time, trying to fit busy schedules into 24-hour days. Managing paid and unpaid work, caregiving and community responsibilities often leaves little time for much else. The “double burden” of simultaneously handling work and home life has traditionally been shouldered by women and mothers, but a growing number of men are engaging in regular household and caregiving activities. Consequently, a new “shared double burden” model of work is emerging, one in which men and women are juggling in a more harmonious fashion. The tension between caring and earning is a usefu entry point for the study of contemporary family life, in general, and of healthy, happy relationships, in particular. By looking at the results of Statistics Canada's time use surveys, we can see the shifting patterns in how men and women divide paid and unpaid work. . ..."

November 18,2013 - The Globe and Mail
Income inequality in Canada: What’s the problem?

November 18,2013
By: Konrad Yakabuski

"This is part of The Globe's Wealth Paradox series, a two-week examination into how the income divide is shaping Canada. Globe and Mail columnist Konrad Yakabuski led a discussion with five of Canada’s leading experts about this country’s income gap and what can be done about it. ...Miles Corak is a professor of economics at the University of Ottawa.

... Miles Corak: It is certainly the case that income inequality has increased in Canada, not as much as in the United States, but certainly more, as Jim has stressed, than in many other countries. Particularly notable has been the rise in the share of income going to the top 1 per cent. Whether this is a "problem", however, is an open question. Whether public policy should be addressing the rise in inequality depends upon the underlying drivers, what can effectively be done about them, and, most importantly, it depends upon the consequences and costs of higher inequality. ..."

November 14, 2013 - The Globe and Mail
How globalization has left the 1 per cent even further ahead

November 14, 2013
By: Tavia Grant and Janet McFarland

"This is part of The Globe's Wealth Paradox series, a two-week examination into how the income divide is shaping Canada.

Income levels for most Canadians haven’t changed much in recent years, but for one group: The wealthy are pulling away from the pack.

An analysis of top earners shows their annual incomes have more than doubled over the past three decades while the median taxpayer’s income has changed very little, suggesting that in Canada – as in the United States – the wealthy have benefited most from economic growth and productivity gains. ...

“The market has grown a lot bigger, so the top sports stars, movie stars and business executives make mega bucks, because the catchment area for their appeal is huge – it’s now global, whereas 10 or 20 years ago it was more localized,” said Michael Wolfson, an economist and Canada research chair at the University of Ottawa. Canada has long been considered more equal in income than the U.S. due to its stronger social support programs, but that’s changing with global competition and more porous borders. “It’s been a lagged adjustment in Canada. But the more egalitarian tendencies just couldn’t stand up, particularly at the high end of the income distribution, to the pressures from U.S. competition,” where CEO pay is skyrocketing, Mr. Wolfson said. ..."

2 novembre 2013 - LA GRANDE ÉQUATION
Le vieillissement de la population (French Only)

2 novembre 2013
Une émission scientifique animée par Normand Mousseau

"La population du Québec vieillit. En fait, les soixante-cinq ans et plus représentent une part croissante de celle-ci. Les gouvernements et les médias s’inquiètent : sera-t-il possible de soutenir ce fardeau toujours plus imposant ? Au cours des dernières années, il y a eu de nombreux groupes de réflexion qui ont proposé des aménagements qui permettraient de mieux répartir les coûts associés au vieillissement. On pense par exemple à une pension additionnelle à partir de 75 ans ou à un nouveau régime de soins à domicile. Pourtant une population vieillissante n’est pas nécessairement synonyme de déclin ou de coûts. C’est certainement l’avis de notre invité d’aujourd’hui, un démographe qui suit la question depuis de très nombreuses années et qui nous permettra également de mieux comprendre cette profession très utile à la société. Jacques Légaré est un professeur émérite de démographie à l’Université de Montréal. Il est cochercheur au SÉDAT, un programme sur le vieillissement de la population  ..."

12 Octobre 2013 - Le Devoir
Prix Thérèse-Gouin-Décarie - Démographe de famille (French Only)

12 Octobre 2013
Le Devoir
By: Marie Lambert-Chan

Prix Thérèse-Gouin-Décarie - Démographe de famille
«Je n’ai jamais vraiment eu d’objectifs de carrière»

"Ce texte fait partie d'un cahier spécial.
Séparation, divorce, union libre, monoparentalité, famille recomposée, baisse de la fécondité… Les familles canadiennes et québécoises ont vécu d’immenses bouleversements au cours des 40 dernières années. Si on peut en mesurer l’ampleur aujourd’hui, c’est en grande partie grâce au travail de la démographe Céline Le Bourdais, professeure au Département de sociologie de l’Université McGill et titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada en statistiques sociales et changement familial. À l’aide d’enquêtes rétrospectives et de méthodes statistiques de pointe, elle a su documenter ces phénomènes au moment même où ils se produisaient.  

« La famille a subi des changements rapides, mais tout n’est pas survenu d’un coup », observe celle qui, selon plusieurs, est la plus grande spécialiste de la famille au pays. La progression des travaux de Céline Le Bourdais illustre bien les mutations domestiques des dernières décennies. ..."

July - September

August 14, 2013 - The Washington Post OPINIONS
Social immobility erodes the American dream

August 14, 2013
The Washington Post OPINIONS
By Fareed Zakaria

"If there’s one issue on which both the left and right agree, it is the crisis of declining mobility. The American dream at its core is that a person, no matter his or her background, can make it here. ... For more than a decade, it has been documented that Northern European countries do better at moving poor people up the ladder than the United States does. Some have dismissed these findings, pointing out that the United States cannot be compared with places such as Denmark, an ethnically homogeneous country of 5.5 million people. But Miles Corak of the University of Ottawa points out in his contribution to the Journal of Economic Perspectives that Canada is a very useful point of comparison, being much like the United States. ..."

August 13, 2013 - The Bill Good Show
Radio interview on shift work and work-life balance

August 13, 2013
The Bill Good Show

Karen Duncan had a short radio interview on shift work and work-life balance in relation to the strike vote by Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) workers at the Vancouver International Airport. She spoke with Mike Smyth on The Bill Good Show.

August 9, 2013 - Ottawa Citizen
Immigrant birthrate significant: Numbers twice as high as native-born

August 9, 2013
By Douglas Todd, Postmedia News

New immigrants to Canada are much more likely to have babies than their native-born counterparts. Immigrant women who have spent five years in Canada "have almost twice as many children of preschool age (as) the average Canadian-born woman," according to an extensive study by two noted economists. The University of Waterloo's Ana Ferrer and Princeton University's Alicia Adsera pored over two decades of Statistics Canada census data to reach their conclusion. There are major birthrate differences, depending on newcomers' country of origin: The women who have the highest birthrates tend to be from Africa, Pakistan and India. The study by Ferrer and Adsera - which explores how childbirth rates affect a family's "economic assimilation" and other aspects of integration - aims to help governments and businesses respond to demographic changes in Canada, track the availability of workers of both sexes and adjust taxpayer-support services.

August 2, 2013 - The Gazette
Opinion: Canadian pension system has serious consequences

August 2, 2013
The Gazette
By: Michael Wolfson

"... In a study released recently by the Institute for Research on Public Policy, I used Statistics Canada’s Lifepaths model to project both the current retirement-income system and some more “out-of-the-box” options for meaningful reform. The projections show that about half of middle-income earners over the age of 40 today will see a significant decline in their standard of living post-retirement. This may come as a rude awakening for many. Most pension experts agree with Flaherty when he says, “Canadians are not saving enough for their retirement.” So what’s the solution? All pension-reform scenarios put forward so far assume that any new retirement benefits need to be fully pre-funded. This means it would take nearly half a century for any enhanced benefits to be fully phased in. "...

25 juillet 2013 - FI: Finance et Investissement
ASLD: l'obésité causera bien des soucis (French Only)

25 juillet 2013
FI: Finance et Investissement
By: Guillaume Poulin-Goyer

"ASSURANCE SOINS DE LONGUE DURÉE - « La fumée tue. L'obésité rend invalide », résumait Jacques Légaré, professeur au département de démographie de l’Université de Montréal lors d’une présentation durant la Conférence de Montréal, au début de juin. Or, le Canada pourrait connaître une éventuelle épidémie d'obésité dans les prochaines, ce qui risque d'augmenter la probabilité de vieillir en mauvaise santé. « L'obésité pourrait davantage contribuer à une augmentation du nombre d'années vécues avec des incapacités plutôt qu'une augmentation du nombre de décès prématurés », indiquait Jacques Légaré. « Des niveaux élevés d'obésité risquent de voir les espérances de vie en santé diminuer, mais pas l'espérance de vie tous états de santé confondus », ajoutait-il. "...

April - June

20 juin 2013 - le Soleil
Les couples québécois se marient peu et plus vieux (French Only)

20 juin 2013A
le Soleil - La Presse Canadienne, Montréal

"Les Québécois se marient non seulement peu, mais lorsqu'ils le font, ils se marient de plus en plus tardivement et de moins en moins religieusement. C'est ce qui ressort des plus récentes données dévoilées jeudi par l'Institut de la statistique du Québec dans son bulletin intitulé Coup d'oeil sociodémographique. Ainsi, en 2012, l'âge moyen au premier mariage est de 32,8 ans chez les hommes et 31,3 ans chez les femmes. Depuis 1972, il s'agit d'une hausse de 7,4 ans pour les hommes et de 8,1 ans pour les femmes. ...« C'est une tendance, vraiment, qui s'est observée chaque année: une élévation de l'âge au mariage. Ce que ça traduit, finalement, c'est une des manifestations claires du changement de fonction et de statut du mariage. On constate que le mariage n'est plus nécessairement un préalable à la formation de la famille, au début de la vie de couple. Il survient donc à différentes étapes de la vie de couple », a expliqué en entrevue Philippe Pacaut, démographe à l'Institut de la statistique du Québec. "...

May 9, 2013 - CTV News
Visible minority population on the rise

May 9, 2013
CTV News

"A new report from Statistics Canada indicates that Canada's visible minority population will soon be the majority in some cities. The report shows that in 20 years, about 30% of Canadians will be visible minorities and in Toronto and Vancouver, about two thirds of the population will be non-white. StatsCan says Calgary's visible minority population is expected to be 38 % in 20 years from now. U of C Demographer, Kevin McQuillan says a vast majority of the visible minority population has decided to live in Canada's big cities. "That's where most of the economic opportunity is, so people thinking in terms of coming to the country and finding jobs, it's not like a century ago when you thought of buying farmland and starting up in farming, I think people are now looking to the cities for jobs," said McQuillan."...

May 8, 2013 - Calgary Herald
Curb foreign worker program, study urges - U of C prof says labour shortage is a fallacy/b>

May 8, 2013
Calgary Herald

" The federal temporary foreign worker program should be scaled back in favour of better preparing Canadians to fill the nation’s workforce, says the author of a new University of Calgary study. Kevin McQuillan, a professor at the university’s school of public policy, calls the notion of a general labour shortage “a fallacy,” though he concedes certain industries and regions — including Alberta — have a legitimate need for temporary foreign workers. “Alberta, and Saskatchewan to some extent, are at one end of the spectrum ... and one of the reasons I’m not a supporter of ending the temporary foreign worker program,” McQuillan said Tuesday. ... Although employers in some Alberta industries are clamouring for workers, McQuillan said his research found Canada as a whole doesn’t have a labour shortage: there’s a lack of workers in certain sectors or geographic regions and too many in others. In New Brunswick, for example, the number of unemployed has fluctuated between 30,000 and 40,000 since 2002. Over the same 10-year period, despite that unemployment, the number of temporary foreign workers admitted to New Brunswick has increased to nearly 3,000 from only 500 a decade ago. “What we are finding is what I call a ‘labour mismatch,’ ” he said". ...

8 avril 2013 - Le Devoir
L’accès aux données, pour redynamiser la recherche (French Only)

8 avril 2013
Le Devoir

L’accès aux données, pour redynamiser la recherche:
L’approche utilisée avec succès par le Danemark permettrait d’intensifier l’exploitation d’informations recelant un potentiel scientifique et analytique considérable

Un appel de 13 professeurs et chercheurs provenant de sept universités québécoises: Alain Bélanger, Astrid Brousselle, Damien Contandriopoulos, Pierre Doray, Pierre Fortin, Danielle Gauvreau, Yves Gingras, Benoit Laplante, Céline Le Bourdais, Jacques Ledent, Jacques Légaré, Richard Marcoux, Jean Poirier.

" À la fin du printemps, Québec déposera une nouvelle Politique nationale de recherche et d’innovation (PNRI). Dans un contexte budgétaire difficile, le gouvernement doit travailler de concert avec la communauté scientifique afin de définir les façons de mieux exploiter les ressources déjà disponibles. Une manière d’y arriver consiste à faciliter l’accès des chercheurs aux données des ministères et des organismes gouvernementaux. Cette approche, utilisée avec succès par le Danemark, permettrait d’intensifier l’exploitation d’un ensemble de données uniques recelant un potentiel scientifique et analytique considérable. De plus, la recherche ainsi générée assurerait un renforcement de la production scientifique sur le Québec et pourrait offrir, en prime, une évaluation objective de l’efficacité des politiques publiques dans des domaines comme l’éducation, la santé, l’emploi, la langue ou l’immigration. ... "

January - March

March 10 , 2013 - National Post
Most Canadians in favour of limits on immigration: poll

March 10 , 2013
By: Armina Ligaya

"... A survey conducted by Forum Research for the National Post found that 70% of the 1,755 Canadian adults polled supported limits, and most Canadians who were born in another country (58%) agreed. Among those whose parents were not born in Canada, 66% were in support of limiting the number of qualified immigrants over admitting all prospective qualified newcomers, the poll showed. Roderic Beaujot, a professor emeritus of sociology at Western University whose research looked at population and immigration, says he was surprised that there was agreement between the various groups. “It’s interesting that the attitudes are not too different… To me, this is a very realistic thing. Immigrants would know that it would be difficult for Canada to admit all qualified immigrants,” he said. ...

But Jack Jedwab, the executive director of Montreal-based think-tank Association for Canadian Studies, said most Canadians were satisfied with the number of immigrants coming to Canada. “There’s still a segment of the population that has a variety of concerns about numbers, economic impacts, security issues,” said Mr. Jedwab. ... But Mr. Jedwab questioned the wording of the poll, which separated the responses into two stances — either admitting all qualified immigrants or placing limits. ... "

March 8 , 2013 - canada.com
For working women, study finds flexible hours magnify sense of balance

March 8 , 2013
By: Misty Harris

"Canadian women who have flexible work schedules are 75 per cent more likely to report a healthy balance between their professional and family lives than those who don’t, according to a new University of Manitoba study. ... “This research shows that a bit of autonomy – a sense of being able to control your day, to a certain degree – leads to happier employees,” said study co-author Rachael Pettigrew. “And happier employees are less likely to leave the organization.” ... The researchers examined the effect of different work arrangements on this satisfaction while controlling for possible confounding factors (family characteristics, income, education, etc). For instance, women with flexible schedules scored .75 above baseline – that is, all other things being equal, they were that much more likely to report a positive balance – while for men it was just .11, a score that wasn’t statistically significant. Study co-author Karen Duncan suggests this is because women remain primary caregivers in most households, and are thus tasked with the most juggling: Although 82 per cent of Canadian women are represented in the labour force – just nine percentage points less than men – they average 4.3 hours of unpaid work per day, compared to men’s 2.7. ... "

February 18 , 2013 - The Globe and Mail
Retirees set to outnumber Canada’s youth for the first time

February 18 , 2013
The Globe and Mail
By: Joe Friesen

" For as long as statistics have been kept in this country, the number of young people entering the work force has always exceeded the number nearing retirement. Not any more. At some point this year, the number of 15- to 24-year-olds will slip below the number of 55- to 64-year-olds for the first time, according to Statscan’s demography division. That represents a major symbolic threshold for a society just beginning the slide from a demographic golden age. Canada was always able to count on the bulge of its youth population to contribute to growing labour capacity and to gains in wealth and living standards. But as fertility rates dropped in recent decades and the baby boom aged, the two cohorts gradually drew closer in size. ... Frank Trovato, a demographer at the University of Alberta, said that the decline in the number of young people could set off a chain reaction that resonates through future generations. “Relatively fewer young people means probably fewer children. Fertility could decline even further, which could intensify the aging of the population.” said Prof. Trovato. With low fertility likely to be a sustained trend in Canada, one of the principal tools to keep the population growing, rather than shrinking, is immigration, he added. Over the next 20 years, nearly all labour-force growth will be due to mmigration. “A country has to ask itself hard questions about whether it wants to open itself up to more immigrants,” Prof. Trovato said. "

January 25 , 2013 - The Globe and Mail
"Quebec is a laboratory when it comes to the transformation of domestic life"

January 25 , 2013
The Globe and Mail
By: Ingrid Peritz and Sean Gordon

" ... The justices said that after a split between unmarried couples, Quebec can legally continue to exclude one of the partners from getting spousal support. For about 1.2 million Quebeckers, it means the ring around the finger matters. “This says that marriage is a formal commitment with which you have rights and obligations, and you don’t have the same commitment with a common-law relationship,” says Céline Le Bourdais, a McGill University demographer and Canada Research Chair in Social Statistics and Family Change. Quebec has gone its own way on the domestic union front for years, and is home today to among the highest concentration of unwed couples in the world. About a third of all couples in the province live common-law. The conjugal arrangements are so fluid that in Quebec, the French terms conjoint and conjointe are often used to refer to both a common-law spouse or married partner. “Quebec is a laboratory,” Prof. Le Bourdais said, “when it comes to the transformation of domestic life, and what it means to be in a union.” ..."

January 18 , 2013 - The Globe and Mail
Idle no more - What’s behind the explosion of native activism? Young people

January 18 , 2013
The Globe and Mail
By: Joe Friesen

" ... Aboriginal people make up about 3 per cent of the Canadian population, but their age structure is radically different from the rest of society. Aboriginal Canada is young. The rest of Canada is not. The median age of aboriginal Canadians is 27, compared to 40 for non-aboriginals. One in seven Canadians is over 65, while among aboriginals it’s just one in 20. And almost one in three aboriginals is under 15, about twice as high as the rest of Canada. As demographers Don Kerr and Rod Beaujot have argued, such a huge divergence in population structures has important implications. That difference is one reason why issues of broader public concern in Canada “are often completely out of line with the needs of Canada’s aboriginal peoples,” Professors Kerr and Beaujot said. ..."

January 7 , 2013 - The Globe and Mail
How much do we really need for retirement?

January 7 , 2013
The Globe and Mail
By: Michael Wolfson

"How much income would most of us consider enough for our retirement? Canadian finance ministers will implicitly give us their answer when they define a “modest Canada Pension Plan expansion” at their next meeting in June of 2013. Canadians might be surprised to learn that more than half of middle-income Canadians in their mid-40s today – with before-tax incomes between $35,000 and $80,000 – can expect a drop of at least 25 per cent in their post-retirement consumable income, according to a recent study I conducted for the Institute for Research on Public Policy. Should this be a concern? How much do we really need for retirement?


There are many crucial judgments involved in determining whether a specific proposal for enlarging the CPP, with its projected effects on future retirement incomes, is “modest” or mere tokenism. ... So far, finance ministers have published nothing of their officials’ analyses, let alone follow the example of the 1982 Green Paper where an actuary was allowed to peer-review the analysis. This lack of government transparency means Canadians are left in the dark – not only on the general outlines of the “modest CPP expansion” being discussed but also, more fundamentally, the underlying judgments as to what an adequate retirement income means. What’s happened to open, accountable and evidence-based government?"

January, 2013 (print), Dece 5, 2012 (online) - University Affairs
The changing face of the Canadian family

January, 2013 (print), Dece 5, 2012 (online)
University Affairs
By: Virginia Galt

Roderic Beaujot, professor emeritus with Western University’s department of sociology, says the changes in family structure have largely been viewed positively within society. There are “more options, choice and plurality in family questions, more equality between women and men, fewer children, with the potential to have more investments per child.” But, “At the same time, these changes have brought new forms of inequality, and associated needs for policy adaptation. For children, there is the inequality associated with lone parenting and step-parenting. For young adults, there are differences associated with those who have received less parental and social investments.” In a speech last year at Lakehead University, Dr. Beaujot said couples who marry and have children at a young age are more likely to separate – as are common-law couples – than those who have completed their education, married and had children later. The children of these stable, typically dual-income, families have a clear economic advantage and, often, a social advantage over children from lone-parent families and step-families. ..."