With more than one in four people under 15 years and only one person in 20 aged 65 and over, the region formed by the three territories was the country's youngest region in 2006. The territories' relative 'youth' is attributable to the high fertility rate, particularly among the Inuit population, and lower life expectancy than in the provinces.
Yukon is somewhat different from the other territories in that it has proportionally a smaller Aboriginal population and its fertility is closer to the national average. In 2006, it had a smaller proportion of children (18.8%) than the other territories and the Prairie provinces. In addition, it had a smaller proportion of people aged 65 and over in the population (7.5%) compared with Canada (13.7%) as a whole.
Figure 18 Age pyramid of Yukon population in 2001 and 2006
In the Northwest Territories, 9,940 people, or one person in four, were under 15 years in 2006. At less than 5%, the proportion of seniors remained nearly three times smaller than the national average. Only Nunavut had a younger population than the Northwest Territories at the time of the 2006 Census.
Figure 19 Age pyramid of Northwest Territories population in 2001 and 2006
With its majority Inuit population, Nunavut today is the only one of the provinces and territories with an age structure that looks like a pyramid. It has a large proportion of children (more than a third of the population is under 15 years) and the lowest proportion of seniors in Canada (one in 37, compared with one in seven nationally). As in any very young population, there are more males than females. The reason for this is that more boys are born than girls, but the male-to-female ratio falls below 1 after a certain age because mortality is higher among males. As a result, a younger population will have more males than females, and the opposite will be true in an older population.
Figure 20 Age pyramid of Nunavut population in 2001 and 2006