Number of births in Quebec |  Back to normal in 2021… except in Montreal

Number of births in Quebec | Back to normal in 2021… except in Montreal

The number of births registered in Quebec has risen to 2019 levels after declining during the pandemic, according to a new report from the Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ). However, Montreal is an exception.

Updated yesterday at 10:34pm.

Split

Alice Girard bosses

Alice Girard-Bossé La Presse

84,900

Number of births in Quebec in 2021. This number increased by almost 4% compared to 2020 (81,850), bringing it back to the level of 2019 (84,309).

The Pandemic Effect

Number of births in Quebec Back to normal in

PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

Rainbow accompanied by the message “It’s going to be fine” displayed in a window of a Montreal home in late March 2020

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have led to a decline in conception, as evidenced by a nadir in births nine months later. “We see that in late 2020 and early 2021 there were really fewer births than the average for previous years,” says Anne Binette-Charbonneau, demographer at ISQ.

The context of economic and health insecurity, family difficulties related to home school management and telework, and the closure of assisted reproduction centers may have prompted some people to reconsider their parenting project, explains the expert.

The negative effect of the health crisis appears to have been short-lived, as births began to catch up from March 2021, nine months after the end of the first wave.

Montreal apart

Montreal is the only region where the decline in fertility in 2020 was not followed by a rise in 2021. The metropolis continues to have the lowest fertility with an average of 1.3 children per woman, followed by the regions of Laval and Capitale-Nationale. North du Quebec has the highest at 2.7 children per woman.

Number of births in Quebec Back to normal in

“In big cities, the birth rate is often lower because of the level of education and different family structures,” explains the demographer. If women study longer, they will often have children later. Family structures are also different in big cities. “There are more women living alone,” illustrates Ms. Binette-Charbonneau.

1.58 children per woman

This is the total fertility rate in Quebec in 2021. After falling to 1.52 in 2020, it has returned to similar levels as in 2018 and 2019. The index shows an overall downward trend since 2009. “With an aging population, there are fewer women of childbearing age. We are watching [une baisse de l’indice] in several developed countries,” says Ms. Binette-Charbonneau.

1655361369 904 Number of births in Quebec Back to normal in

Some fertility indices in 2019

1655361369 323 Number of births in Quebec Back to normal in

PHOTO AHN YOUNG-JOON, ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVE

Family in a park in Seoul, South Korea

  • South Korea: 0.92
  • Spain: 1.24
  • Italy: 1.27
  • Japan: 1.36
  • Canada: 1.47
  • United Kingdom: 1.65
  • United States: 1.71
  • Mexico: 2.10
  • Afghanistan: 4.32
  • Nigeria: 6.82

Source: DataCommons

31 years

Average age at birth in 2021. The threshold of 30 years was exceeded in 2011. Since the mid-1990s, the average age at birth has increased by one year approximately every 10 years.

Falling young pregnant women

1655361370 613 Number of births in Quebec Back to normal in

PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

“We see that fertility among women aged 25 to 44 will increase in 2021 while continuing to decrease among the youngest,” says Anne Binette-Charbonneau, demographer at ISQ.

“We see fertility increasing in women aged 25 to 44 in 2021 while continuing to fall among the youngest,” says Ms. Binette-Charbonneau. In recent decades, women under the age of 30 have experienced declining fertility rates, reflecting women’s tendency to postpone childbirth until later in life. This shift may be related to several factors, including the increase in study duration and the significant participation of women in the labor market.

1655361370 58 Number of births in Quebec Back to normal in
1655361371 61 Number of births in Quebec Back to normal in

PHOTO OLIVIER PONTBRIAND, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

Since the mid-1990s, the mean age at birth has increased by one year approximately every 10 years.

65%

Proportion of children of unmarried parents in 2021

2.8%

Percentage of multiple births – twins, triplets, etc. – in 2021. This proportion has hovered around 3% for the past fifteen years.

31%

Share of newborns with at least one foreign-born parent in 2021

With Pierre-André Normandin, La Presse