Alternative Pasts, Possible Futures: A "What If" Study of the Effects of Fertility on the Canadian Population and Labour Force
The "baby boom" that followed World War II, and the subsequent "baby bust", have cast a long shadow over the Canadian population, society, and economy. Drawing on a series of counterfactual projections, this paper considers what the year 2001 would have looked like if things had been different if there had been no baby boom or no bust, or if the bust had been delayed, to take three examples. The paper then considers what will happen in the coming decades under a number of alternative assumptions. A major finding is that the boom had much less impact on the 2001 age structure of the population and labour force than did the bust that followed. For the future, population aging, slower rates of growth, and increased dependency ratios are likely features, but one should be careful not to overestimate the prospective "dependency burden".
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