2.1 Characteristics of the NWT Senior Population

In 2003, one in nine NWT residents was a senior, 55 years or older. (Table 2) By 2014, one in six NWT residents will be a senior if forecasted growth is achieved in the next decade. (Table 3)

Table 2: NWT and Selected Community Elder Population Estimates, 2003
Community Total <55 55+ Percentage
NWT 41,872 37,251 4,621 11%
Fort Resolution 548 455 93 17%
Fort Simpson 1,237 1,108 129 10%
Inuvik 3,435 3,065 370 11%
Yellowknife 18,673 17,108 1,565 8%

Source: Bureau of Statistics. Population Estimates. Community and Age. 2003

Compared to growth trends anticipated for the NWT, Yellowknife’s seniors population is expected to grow at a much faster rate (92%) than in other communities. In Fort Resolution, the seniors population is expected to decline over the next decade. (Table 3)

The vast majority of seniors, especially those 65 years and over, live independently. More seniors in NWT over 65 live alone than adults 55 to 64. (NWT Health and Social Services, 2003). Housing Association personnel suggest that a small percentage of seniors live in seniors housing, nursing homes or long term care facilities. Many seniors not living independently, live with a younger family member such as a grandchild.