Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And the Canadian birth rate goes up

Statistics Canada announced yesterday that the Canadian birth rate has continued to rise.

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.


Kanta said...

Countdown to Mark Steyn or some other islamophobe claiming that this only shows that Islam is taking over Canada/the entire West: 3... 2... 1...

Cicerone said...

Who says that only the birth rate of white, English or French speaking people in Canada went up? Maybe the muslim birth rate went up, too? You have towns in France, where muslims are the majority and it's population pyramids are real pyramids, suggesting a birth rate of 3 children or higher.

Randy McDonald said...

That's not the case. These Statistics Canada findings suggest that Muslim TFRs are in the ~2.4 range, while Muslims make up 2% of the Canadian population as of 2001, largely through immigration.

As for French towns, how representative are they of the general Muslim population?

Anonymous said...

The age at which a woman who has not previously had children has a less than 50% chance of being able to get pregnant without fertility treatment is 30.

Professional women are more likely to be childless at older ages so fertility treatment may be responsible. It is still true that highly educated women are the most likely to never have children.

I'll bet the birthrate of white professional women in Canada is low, - very, very low. Their offspring will be a negligible part of the population; immigration of qualified immigrants especially healthcare professionals will be essential.

Nothing will keep the Muslim doctors, Filipino , Nigerian nurses in their own countries

There isn't going to be a young healthcare professional left in Poland,the Baltic states or (eventually) Germany either.

Randy McDonald said...

That seems somewhat problematic. This source's statistics would suggest that a remarkably high number of women worldwide would require fertility treatments. The average average of a Canadian woman upon the birth of her first child is 29.3 years.

Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

I could be mistaken about the 50% estimate for 30 year olds. (am unable to find the article unfortunately)
Most Canadian mothers are younger than 29.3 years. As the link says:-

"The dramatic increase in women having their first birth at the age of 35 years and over has played the largest role in the increased average age of first-time mothers, ... many developed nations have observed increases in average age at first birth with some now averaging near 30.0 years of age"

To me this means that the Canadian "average" is skewed by an increase in mothers over - sometimes well over - 35. This is made possible by fertility treatment.

Anonymous said...

For what its worth, this is consistent with my own personal experience:

My wife and I belong to a monthly dinner club consisting of six married couples of middle class background in a mid-sized U.S. city. All of the women are college educated, and begann careers after graduation. All six did not have children until their mid-30s. About half of them needed fertility treatments, and one had to adopt. 12 children have been born or adopted by these six women while they were between the ages of 34-41.

This is particularly true of women with post-graduate education, like lawyers, doctors, etc. Most of the married, professional women I know in my area have a similar life pattern.