The ratio of working-age Canadians to seniors was narrowing, and the inevitable outcome would be a shrunken tax base and acute labour shortages. Over the next decade, a million jobs risk going unfilled. And yet, only around one in 10 Canadians agrees that Canada currently admits too few immigrants. The annual (and sometimes multi-year) public consultations held by the Federal Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration on levels of newcomers do not seem to have yielded much success in changing this attitude.
According to the latest Statistics Canada report on household demographics, the nuclear family is no longer the norm. But are Italians, one of the country's largest ethnic groups, rethinking family composition in step with other Canadians? If so, how do these changes interplay with cultural identity?
The exurban neighbourhods of El Paso County, Colorado seem, to this observer, environments designed for alienation and loneliness: street after street of developer-built houses fronted by enormous, power-operated garage doors, which display an defensive attitude to the street, and to the larger world. It all makes The Netherlands, where I currently live, seem mighty urbane, and civilized.
According to David Foot of the Boom, Bust & Echo fame, "You can forecast economic success based on whether there are too many young people or too many old people in a country." Obviously, demographic advantages alone are not sufficient to create success. All governments and businesses must shape decisions to reflect their demographic realities.