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Aging Population Changing Perceptions of Aging in Alberta

(EDMONTON) Canadians, Albertans, are living longer than ever before, and as a result are having profound impacts on society, the social safety net, the economy, and according to a recent ThinkHQ Public Affairs poll, perceptions of aging itself.


On average, Albertans today say that 71 is the age at which they begin to consider someone “old”. Ironically, fifty years ago, the average Canadian could only expect to live to 71 years of age, let alone consider that the start of their “Golden Years”.


Since then, the average Canadian lifespan has increased by a decade, and in the minds of many Albertans, 70 has become the new 60…or perhaps even the new 50.


  • Women, whose life expectancy is roughly 10 years longer than men, offer a more generous estimate of what’s “old” – 73 years – compared to 69 years among their male counterparts.


  • Time adds perspective when it comes to aging. On average, those under the age of 35 years say that 67 is “old”, while those over 55 estimate “old” starts at 76.


  • Your own personal health is related to impressions of age. Those who rate their own personal health as “Very Good” consider old age to start at 72, while those who rate their health as poor see old age starting at 68 years on average.


To view the details of these results and methodology, follow the link: Perceptions of Aging


Survey Methodology

These are findings of a ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc. poll conducted on behalf of the Alberta Medical Association. The Study was fielded via a random sample of online research panels (Voice of Alberta & Angus Reid Forum) between March 19th and 26th, 2015. Participants are Alberta residents over the age of 18, and the sample has been stratified and weighted to reflect the actual population of Alberta, based upon Stats Canada census data. A total of 2010 interviews were conducted for the survey. The online methodology utilizes a representative but non-random sample therefore margin of error is not applicable. However, a probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.


About albertapatients


These findings are drawn from research conducted on behalf of the Alberta Medical Association for its albertapatients initiative – an online community that provides Albertans the opportunity to provide input and feedback into the province’s health care system, and help shape the future of health care in Alberta through regular professionally executed survey research. This initiative also acts as a conduit for Alberta’s doctors to update patients about what’s going on in health care delivery, and report on findings from the survey research.


ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc. is a Canadian-based independent public opinion consultancy, and is the Alberta Medical Association’s research partner in the operation of albertapatients.ca.






Marc Henry

President, ThinkHQ Public Affairs, Inc.




Shannon Rupnarain

Assistant Executive Director, Public Affairs

Alberta Medical Association