Canadian demographics impact cultural shifts

posted on May 2, 2020

By Winnipeg Free Press |

‘Here we go again” was the first thought while unsealing Darrell Bricker’s newest study from the envelope the Winnipeg Free Press had sent to my isolated home. Surely this new work — Next: Where to Live, What to Buy and Who Will Lead Canada’s Future — would suffer the same cruel invalidation that every other pre-pandemic prognostication must experience in these strange times.

But in a sense, Bricker has dodged a COVID-19 bullet, as his focus throughout this volume is on Canadian demographics, complete with its recurrent reminder of how these mighty, slow-moving and mostly irreversible forces affect society today and tomorrow. Take that, pandemic.

Bricker is CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, a global marketing research company. This is Bricker’s third book on population trends and follows Empty Planet and The Big Shift, both of which he co-authored with the Globe and Mail’s former chief political writer John Ibbitson. (Disclosure: This reviewer crossed paths with Bricker in the early ’90s while working at what was then the Angus Reid Group.)

Much of the focus of Bricker’s new solo work is on generational groups, particularly on what he maintains are the miscalculated “Perennials” (basically anyone over 55). It is these comfortable silver-haired boomers who continue to dominate and shape our social values and consumer trends, mostly by the sheer potency of their numbers and their relative prosperity.

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