Finance

Economic and Project Analysis

Population Projections — Assumptions

Updated: November 2017

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Economic and Project Analysis has a population projection system which is integrated with its economic and labour market forecasts. The system is designed to project the population by age and sex for Newfoundland and Labrador and various sub-provincial regions, including economic zones.

The system uses information/assumptions about fertility, mortality and migration to produce three different population projections for Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • High Scenario Assumptions
  • Fertility - The total fertility rate gradually trends up from an estimated rate of 1.44 in 2017 to 1.59 in 2036.
  • Mortality - Life expectancies continue to increase in line with recent trends. Male life expectancy increases by 3.3 years between 2017 and 2036. Female life expectancy increases by 2.6 years over the same period.
  • Migration - Out-migration is assumed for the next five years, with a high of approximately 1,700 in 2018, due to a combination of the winding down of the development phases of several major projects, low commodity prices, and deficit reduction measures implemented by the provincial government. Economic prospects then improve. Net migration becomes positive in 2023 and is assumed to remain strong over the 2024 to 2030 period, offsetting natural population declines. After a drop to around 700 in 2031, net in-migration increases steadily to around 2,200 in 2036. Net in-migration averages about 1,700 per year over the entire projection period from 2017 to 2036.
  • Medium Scenario Assumptions
  • Fertility - The total fertility rate remains basically constant near 1.44 over the entire projection period.
  • Mortality - Life expectancies continue to increase in line with recent trends in age-specific mortality rates. Male life expectancy increases by 2.4 years between 2017 and 2036. Female life expectancy increases by 1.8 years over the same period.
  • Migration - Out-migration is assumed for the next five years, with a high of approximately 2,000 in 2018, due to a combination of the winding down of the development phases of several major projects, low commodity prices, and deficit reduction measures implemented by the provincial government. Net migration becomes positive in 2023 as economic prospects improve. Strong net in-migration is assumed over the 2024 to 2030 period to meet predicted labour shortages due to population aging, offsetting natural population declines. After a drop to less than 400 in 2031, net in-migration increases steadily to just over 1,900 in 2036. Net in-migration averages about 1,350 per year over the entire projection period from 2017 to 2036.
  • Low Scenario Assumptions
  • Fertility - The total fertility rate declines from an estimated rate of 1.44 in 2017 to 1.28 in 2036.
  • Mortality - Life expectancies continue to increase but at rates slightly below historical trends. Male life expectancy increases by 1.4 years between 2017 and 2036. Female life expectancy increases by 0.9 years over the same period.
  • Migration - Out-migration is assumed for the next five years, with a high of approximately 2,340 in 2018, due to a combination of the winding down of the development phases of several major projects, low commodity prices, and deficit reduction measures implemented by the provincial government. Modest net in-migration is assumed for 2023 and then is assumed to increase significantly over the 2024 to 2030 period in order to meet projected labour shortages brought on by population aging. After dropping into the negative range in 2031, net in-migration increases steadily to just over 1,900 in 2036. Net in-migration averages approximately 970 per year over the entire projection period from 2017 to 2036.

 
Economic and Project Analysis Division, Department of Finance - (709) 729-3255 - infoera@gov.nl.ca

 
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