April 27, 2017 by Gloria Cilliers
Canada’s demographic has changed drastically, creating ample new opportunities for the P&C insurance industry.
This was CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs Darrel Bricker’s key message at the annual Canadian Insurance Top Broker Summit, held on 14 November at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Toronto.
In his presentation, entitled “The Big Shift: The Battle between Old and New Canada,” Bricker outlined the changing demographic of Canada, saying “old Canada” was English and French and “very white”, with more focus on natural resources, had big families/households, trusted public authorities and institutions.
Over the years, this has changed to “more urban-suburban, multi-cultural, older and more female, with smaller families/households, an increasing generational divide, less engaged with traditional institutions, but much more tolerant, opinionated, demanding and difficult”.
Bricker urged brokers and insurers to look at certain challenges and opportunities within the changing demographic, like growing suburbs, the growing share of “well-derly”, the fact that families have become smaller, and the younger generation’s crushing debt. He urged insurers to consider new or enhanced products for Canada’s “new global, mobile middle class” and young and older single women.
A changing demographic
Massive working age gap
This all, has resulted in “a huge working age gap in Canada”, Bricker said. Where in 2011, 70% of Canadians were of working age, that number would drop significantly to below 60% by 2046.
In addition, “by 2020, Canada will be short 1 million skilled trade jobs,” he said.
In 1971, there were 6.6 people of working age for each senior, in 2012 that number dropped to 4.2, and projections put the ratio at two to one in 2036.
A Surge in Economic Immigrants
Canada led the pack when it came to population growth for the G8 countries between 2011 – 2006 (5.4%) and 2006 – 2011 (5.9%), thanks to economic immigrants, Bricker said.
In 2013, immigrants to Canada were made up of 57% economic immigrants, 31% family class, and 9% refugees. Whereas in 1970, most immigrants to Canada came from the U.K. and U.S., today, most immigrants come from China, India, the Philippines, Pakistan and Iran.
Today, 20.6% of Canadians were foreign born, with Ontario having the highest number, 28.5%. Nearly half (49.7%) of Toronto’s population today, were foreign born. Nine out of 10 immigrants live in urban Canada, Bricker said.
The top countries for relocation are the U.S., followed by the U.K., then Canada. This might change, with Canada becoming even more popular for immigrants in future, Bricker said, suggesting that the recent U.S. election result may even have “something to do with it”.
Download Bricker’s full presentation here.
View pictures from our Top Broker Summit here.
This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.