Werner's Blog — Opinion, Analysis, Commentary
Vaccinating BC's population pyramid

According to estimates by Statistics Canada, British Columbia has 5.15 million inhabitants. The race is on to vaccinate the entire population (with the under-18 group possibly following once vaccines have been approved for them). The logistics are formidable as the provincial government is primarily staging the vaccination campaign by age groups in descending order. Naturally, the older age cohorts are much smaller than the middle age cohorts. But what does BC's population pyramid look like? The chart below reveals the 2020 data from Statistics Canada for males and females by 5-year cohorts.

British Columbia Population Pyramid 2020 0 0 25 25 50 50 75 75 100 100 125 125 150 150 175 175 200 200 Males (1000) Females (1000) 0-4 116 110 5-9 126 118 10-14 127 122 15-19 139 134 20-24 177 163 25-29 185 174 30-34 191 186 35-39 182 182 40-44 159 165 45-49 158 167 50-54 167 177 55-59 184 193 60-64 174 186 65-69 151 163 70-74 126 136 75-79 83 91 80-84 53 62 85-89 32 42 90-94 13 22 95-99 3 8 100+ 0 2

BC's population "pyramid" doesn't look anything like a pyramid. It has two separate peaks or "bulges": the boomers that are now 55–75 years old, and the millennials that are 25–40 years old. Using the AstraZeneca vaccine to speed up the vaccination of the 55-65 age cohort will give a head start to clear the first of the two "bulges" in the population distribution. Vaccination will run a bit faster for the 40-55 age group because these cohorts are slightly smaller, and will slow down again for the second bulge of the millennials.

Disturbingly, there is a significant population decline below the age of 20. The long-term trend points to a shrinking population unless there is compensation through increased immigration.

Another interesting observation is the gender ratio in the population distribution. Below the age of 35 there are slightly more males than females, while above 40 there are more females than males. In part this reflects the higher life expectancy of women compared to men. What is more puzzling is the disparity in the below-10 population: there are roughly 6% more boys than girls.

Posted on Friday, April 9, 2021 at 07:30 — #BC | #Health
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© 2021  Prof. Werner Antweiler, University of British Columbia.
[Sauder School of Business] [The University of British Columbia]