Back to the future: A review of forty years of population projections at Statistics Canada


  • Patrice Dion Statistics Canada
  • Nora Galbraith Statistics Canada



Population projections, forecast, evaluation, Statistics Canada, accuracy


This paper aims to provide an overview of the population projections program at Statistics Canada, including its orientation, its strengths and challenges. We first identify some conceptual issues which have a bearing on how projections should be interpreted and evaluated. Then, we briefly review the past editions of Statistics Canada’s population projections and identify their main strengths and limitations. The evaluation considers the performance of previous projections at the national and provincial/territorial geographic levels and in terms of each of the major components of growth (fertility, mortality, and migration).

Author Biographies

Patrice Dion, Statistics Canada

Manager, Demographic Analysis and Projections Section, Demography Division

Nora Galbraith, Statistics Canada

Analyst, Demographic Analysis and Projections Section, Demography Division