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Behind every statistic there is a story. Shift: Stories Behind the Stats is a program that tells those tales. Featuring the best of The Current's year-long project examining demographic trends -- we look at where the numbers count...what they mean to the economy, to society, to each of us. We will take you to prisons populated primarily by aboriginal youth and communities where one way of life is being replaced by another. And we will go beyond our borders to China, the Middle East, Japan and Pakistan as demographic shifts ripple throughout the world. Demographers have been warning policy-makers to prepare for the social changes coming... Are we ready?

Click here to listen to full episodes from our year-long project, SHIFT

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Shift: Stories Behind the Stats


EPISODE 1: The Demographer's Dilemna

The first episode examines the work of demographers and what they're saying about how demographic trends will shape Canada's future. Hear a documentary called The Demographer's Dilemma and Anna Maria's interview with Munir Sheikh, who resigned as Canada's chief statistician last summer.


EPISODE 2: Fertility & Babies

Canada's birth rate has steadily declined in the decades following the Baby Boom of post-World War Two. Today, the fertility rate is less than half of what it was 60 years ago. We explore the reasons behind this demographic shift... and look at what the province of Quebec is doing to bump up fertility.


EPISODE 3: Immigration & Diversity

With people having fewer babies, immigration has become an essential part of Canada's population growth. And that's reshaping the demographic profile of the country. Anna Maria speaks with some newcomers in Saskatoon and examines the way demographic change is shifting how politics are done in Canada.


EPISODE 4: Generation Y

What's up with Generation Y? In this episode we hear from young adults who have left the parental nest, only to return again... and examine how expectations of work and relationships may be changing for younger generations.


EPISODE 5: Relation-SHIFT

Today on Shift: Stories Behind the Stats.. the demographics of relationships. They're changing rapidly. We hear about how marriage is morphing and about the rise of singles. We also hear from a group of women spanning three different generations about how they balance work and family... and what feminism means to them.


EPISODE 6: Aboriginal Canada

Canada's Aboriginal populations are bucking the demographic trends that are shaping the rest of the country. Rather than aging, the population is young and growing. We take you to Saskatoon to track how that reality is shaping that city and its economy. Anna Maria speaks with men who are part of an unfortunate statistic ... inmates in a provincial jail, the majority of whom are Aboriginal. And we hear about how demographic changes are expressing themselves in the artwork produced in Cape Dorset, Nunavut.


EPISODE 7: Rural/Urban Shift

Canada's population is becoming increasingly urbanized and that's having a profound impact on the rural communities left behind. We hear about how urbanization is putting pressure on some of the most productive farmland in the country. And we visit one farm in Saskatchewan that's trying to preserve the rural way of life -- and the culture -- with the help of some big, hairy beasts: bison. Plus we also hear about how city living affects our brains.


EPISODE 8: Global Shift

Today on Shift: Stories Behind the Stats... demographic changes beyond our borders. We take a look at the moving target of global population projections and learn what's driving population growth in Africa. On a different demographic note, China's one-child policy is three decades old... we also hear about how the most populous country has been reshaped as a result. And we take a look at demographic trends that helped to spark this year's Arab Spring.


EPISODE 9: Aging Part 1 - Greying of the Population

We devote the final two episodes of Shift: Stories Behind the Stats to the greying of our nation. We have a look at the numbers and introduce you to someone from one of the fastest-growing age demographics in the country -- those 100 and older. We also take a trip to Garnish, Newfoundland, a town ahead of the demographic curve when it comes to age. Plus we talk to an author who says anxiety about an aging population is a recurring theme in history. And hear about how the public sector is being hit by demographic changes.



EPISODE 10: Aging Part 2 - Caring for the Elderly

In our last episode of Shift: Stories Behind the Stats ... taking care of an aging population. As Canada's Baby Boomers hit their golden years, they will put pressure on society to care for them. But this demographic shift will also take a personal toll.. as more families and individuals become caregivers for aging friends and relatives. How will our country ensure for the well-being of seniors in the future? It's a crucial policy question and we're tackling it.

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