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Canada / Analyst Insights
Top 5 Industries Benefiting from Canada’s Aging Population

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by Eva Koronios, Industry Analyst
Nov 15 2019

Canada has seen a significant shift in population demographics in recent years, with the proportion of individuals over the age of 65 rising to its highest point in the country’s history, according to 2016 Canadian census data. For the first time since the country’s inception, the number of Canadian seniors has surpassed that of individuals aged 14 and younger.

Over the five years to 2024, the Canadian population is expected to increase an annualized 0.9%, while the number of adults aged 20 to 64 is expected to rise an annualized 0.1%, according to IBISWorld estimates. Conversely, the number of adults 65 and older is anticipated to increase at a significantly faster annualized 3.5% over the five-year period.

While Canada’s quickly aging population presents a slew of potential challenges and a shifting business landscape overall, it also provides potential growth opportunities for downstream industries. IBISWorld has identified the following industries as those most likely to benefit from Canada’s expanding senior population.

Travel Agencies

The Travel Agencies industry in Canada (IBISWorld report 56151CA) is a prime example of an industry that benefits from an older consumer base. As more individuals reach retirement age, the leisure time available to them also increases. To this end, seniors are likely to spend their free time engaging in the activities that interest them the most, such as travelling. Some operators in the Travel Agencies industry specifically operate a variety of tours geared toward older populations, providing assistance with trip planning and itineraries, and making travel more accessible to seniors.

In addition, since most seniors will likely be out of the workforce and living off pensions, savings and other retirement plans, they will likely have the disposable income on hand to fund their trips.

Campgrounds & Recreational Vehicle Parks

Operators in the Campgrounds & Recreational Vehicle Parks industry in Canada (72121CA) are just as likely to experience increased demand for their products and services from customers 65 and over. Consumers in this age group comprise one of the industry’s fastest-growing market segments, accounting for 10.2% of revenue in 2019. Additionally, with average life expectancy and quality of life improving due to advancements in medical technology, a growing number of Canadian seniors are anticipated to opt into camping vacations moving forward.

Pharmacies & Drug Stores

The Pharmacies & Drug Stores industry in Canada (44611CA) also stands to gain from Canada’s aging population. Industry revenue is anticipated to increase an annualized 2.0% over the five years to 2024 to $49.2 billion, and is likely to be bolstered by Canada’s ongoing demographic shift, as the likelihood of developing both physical and mental ailments increases with age.

Consequently, seniors will continue to form a critical downstream market for industry operators, especially considering that over 60.0% of Canadians are covered by private health insurance for prescription drugs, according to CBC News.

Cannabis Production

The Cannabis Production industry (11141CA) is currently Canada’s fastest-growing industry overall, with revenue estimated to have increased at a rapid annualized rate of 137.1% over the five years to 2019. This growth has been due in part to the medicinal and pain-management applications of cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Consequently, Canada’s healthcare system has long regarded the medicinal use of marijuana as a treatment option for several medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, migraines, cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and arthritis. Statistically, as individuals age they are more likely to suffer from age-related disorders.

Thus, seniors may feel increasingly inclined to turn to cannabis as a method of pain management following the country-wide legalization of recreational marijuana use in 2018, further easing access to industry products. Accordingly, the 65 and older demographic in Canada will likely contribute significantly to the industry’s expansion, which is projected to grow an annualized 33.6% to reach 850 companies over the five years to 2024.

Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs

Despite being a previously untapped market segment for the Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs industry in Canada (71394CA), seniors’ demand for industry services has grown in recent years due to the rising trend of health-consciousness in Canada. As a result, industry operators have recently increased efforts to attract this age group, by expanding their service offerings to encompass more low-intensity exercise programs (e.g. yoga and aerobics classes) and physical therapy services.
This has proved lucrative for operators, as consumers aged 55 and older account for nearly one-third of industry revenue in 2019, heavily contributing industry growth of an annualized 5.1% over the five years to 2019.

Moving forward, as Canada’s aging demographic continues to hold an increasing proportion of the population, its influence on the overall economy is expected to increase in tandem, further affecting various industries. As a result, industry operators are expected to accommodate by continuing to expand their offerings to cater specifically to this age group, in an effort to bolster revenue growth.



For related coverage on US industries benefiting from an aging population, check out our previous Analyst Insight on Industry Insider! 


Edited by Sean Egan
Infographic Design by Tafannum Rahman