Canadian women gave birth to 367,864 babies in Canada in 2007, up 13,247 or 3.7% from 2006 and the fastest annual increase since 1989.
The number of births rose in all age groups, particularly among mothers aged 30 to 34, and in every province and territory, except Prince Edward Island and Yukon.
The total fertility rate, or the average number of children per woman, increased from 1.59 in 2006 to 1.66 in 2007.
While this was the highest total fertility rate since 1992, it remained well below replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. This is the fertility rate that must be maintained to replace the population in the absence of migration.
This upward trend is not unique to Canada. In recent years, other countries with low fertility rates (such as Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Australia) also experienced an increase in their total fertility rate.
The number of babies born in 2007 was the highest since 1995 and the fifth consecutive annual increase.
Over at the Globe and Mail, Zosia Bielski examines this phenomenon, and comes to the conclusion that an end to the postponement of births has played a very major role indeed.
The data revealed another shift: Women in their thirties bore more babies than women in their twenties, for only the second year in a row.
"Women have been postponing their childbirth. Ten years ago, the highest fertility rate was between age 25 to 29, and since 2006, the age group is 30 to 34," said Shiang Ying Dai, senior analyst at Statistics Canada.
"This increase of older motherhood tends to be more pronounced in professional women, which makes sense," said Andrea O'Reilly, associate professor of women's studies at York University and founder of the school's Association for Research on Mothering.
"If you choose to pursue a career, it's more likely that you'll postpone motherhood simply because of the years of training that such a profession requires."
Dr. O'Reilly added: "We've really pushed out, or expanded, the time frame of good motherhood. For a long time there was a very short window on when you could be a mother and this long trend really signifies a shift in that thinking."
After a "career-focused existence," Toronto-based musician Tara Slone felt confident about starting a family. She had daughter Audrey eight weeks ago, at the age of 35.