Measuring the Age Gap in Canadian Social Spending

Squeezed family - measuring the age gap in public spending

Why we wrote this report

Canadian governments don't invest equally in people of different ages. We call this difference in social spending the "age gap" or the "generational spending gap." 

It's only natural and laudable to spend more on Canadians as they age to protect their health and financial security. But do those natural differences account for the entire generational spending gap, or is something else going on? Is there currently a tendency to prioritize the needs of some generations over others?

To help answer that question we first need to start with a rigorous methodology to measure the age gap in public spending. This paper outlines Gen Squeeze's methodological approach. Provincial and federal governments should incorporate this type analysis into their annual budgeting process.

We need to increase the degree of transparency and generational equity in public spending. 

Download the full study

Key takeaways 


  • Canadians of all ages deserve adequate government attention & investment. 

  • The methodology described in this report can be adapted by provincial and federal governments to routinely assess the age distribution of social spending.

  • At the time of this report, Canadian governments combined spend between $33,321 and $40,152 per person age 65+, $13,635 and $14,800 per person age 45 to 64, and $10,406 and $11,614 per person under 45.

How you can use this report

We'd like provincial and federal governments to take over this analysis, conducted annually and as a matter of public transparency. Consider sharing this page with your provincial and federal representatives, and anyone else who might be interested!



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