Finance

Economic and Project Analysis

Population Projections - Assumptions

July 2016

Updated: July 2016

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POPPS stands for "Population Projection System." 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. Consultations with various stakeholders throughout regions of the Province were also used in the preparation of the projections.

POPPS is housed at the Economic and Project Analysis Division, Department of Finance.

  • High Scenario Assumptions
  • Fertility - The total fertility rate gradually trends up from an estimated rate of 1.43 in 2015 to 1.69 in 2036.
  • Mortality - Life expectancies continue to increase in line with recent trends. Male life expectancy increases by 4.9 years between 2015 and 2036. Female life expectancy increases by 3.1 years over the same period.
  • Migration - Net out-migration is assumed to begin in 2017 and essentially continue until 2023, due to a combination of the winding down of the development phases of several major projects, low commodity prices, and significant deficit reduction measures implemented or expected to be implemented by the provincial government. Economic prospects then improve and development of another major oil project is assumed to begin. Net in-migration is assumed to increase significantly over the remainder of the projection period, offsetting natural population declines. Net in-migration averages roughly 1,400 per year over the entire projection period from 2015 to 2036.
  • Medium Scenario Assumptions
  • Fertility - The total fertility rate remains basically constant near 1.45 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 3.5 years between 2015 and 2036. Female life expectancy increases by 2.0 years over the same period.
  • Migration - Out-migration is assumed for the next nine years, peaking at approximately 5,180 in 2018, due to a combination of the winding down of the development phases of several major projects, low commodity prices, and significant deficit reduction measures implemented or expected to be implemented by the provincial government. Net migration returns to zero in 2025 as economic prospects improve and the assumed development of another major oil project begins. Strong net in-migration is assumed for the remainder of the forecast period to meet predicted labour shortages due to population aging, offsetting natural population declines. Net in-migration averages just over 1,000 per year over the entire projection period from 2015 to 2036.
  • Low Scenario Assumptions
  • Fertility - The total fertility rate declines from an estimated rate of 1.43 in 2015 to 1.26 in 2036.
  • Mortality - Life expectancies continue to increase but at rates slightly below historical trends. Male life expectancy increases by 1.9 years between 2015 and 2036. Female life expectancy increases by 0.8 years over the same period.
  • Migration - Net out-migration is assumed to begin in 2016 and continue until 2025, peaking at approximately 5,400 in 2018, due to a combination of the winding down of the development phases of several major projects, low commodity prices, and significant deficit reduction measures implemented by the provincial government. Modest net in-migration is assumed for 2026 and then is assumed to increase significantly over the 2027 to 2036 period in order to meet projected labour shortages brought on by population aging. This in-migration will basically offset significant natural population declines and allow population to stabilize late in the projection period. Net in-migration averages approximately 800 per year over the entire projection period from 2015 to 2036.

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

 
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