A growing number of British Columbians depend on fewer British Columbians in the workforce, according to BC Stats.
In 2018, B.C. recorded a dependency ratio of almost 50, up from 44 in 2010. This figure means just under 50 residents aged 15 to 64 support 50 people who are youth (aged zero to 14) and seniors (65 and older).
“Population projections produced by BC Stats indicate that the total dependency ratio for British Columbia will continue to increase over the next 20 years,” the agency said in an analysis attached to its Quarterly Population Highlights released Oct. 7. “By 2038, this ratio could reach 65, a 30 [per cent] increase from the current levels.”
The total dependency ratio represents the ratio of the sum of the youth and senior population to the working age population multiplied by 100.
Economists and others use it as an indicator of the economic pressure on the productive population to support service delivery to the dependent population.
“In general, a low dependency ratio means government has more resources to deliver services such as education, healthcare and pension payments,” reads the analysis. “For the same level of services, a higher ratio will mean increased financial stress on the working-age population since there is more people for them to support. Like other jurisdictions in Canada with an aging population, British Columbia is expected to see this ratio go up.”
The same applies for the Capital Regional District. It projects a ratio of 53 by 2036.