Globe and Mail

Where have all the babies gone?

Globe and Mail Update
Thursday, September 26 – Online Edition, Posted at 11:13 AM EST
The Globe and Mail

Canada's fertility rate hit a record low in 2000, driven down by the 10th straight annual decline in the number of births.

A report released Thursday by Statistics Canada shows the number of babies born in Canada in 2000 hit its lowest level since 1946.

A total of 327,882 babies were born in 2000, down 2.8 per cent from 337,249 in 1999. The number of live births fell in all provinces and territories except the Northwest Territories, where it rose 2.1 per cent.

Combined with a larger population, this left the fertility rate an estimate of the average number of children women aged 15 to 49 will have in their lifetime at a record low of 1.49.

Fertility rates also fell for women in all age groups under 35.

The largest annual decrease in the fertility rate occurred among female teenagers. The fertility rate fell from 18.9 births for every 1,000 women aged 15 to 19 in 1999 to a new low of 17.3.

Although fertility rates among women aged 35 and older increased from 1999 to 2000, the levels were not large enough to offset the decreases in fertility rates among younger women.

% change
Canada 2337,249327,882-2.8
Newfoundland and Labrador5,0554,869-3.7
Prince Edward Island1,5151,441-4.9
Nova Scotia9,5759,116-4.8
New Brunswick7,6157,347-3.5
British Columbia41,93940,672-3.0
Northwest Territories 36596732.1
Nunavut 3737727-1.4
1: Excludes births to non-residents of Canada and stillbirths.
2: Canada total includes births with unknown province/territory of residence of mother.
3: For 1999 and 2000, data for Nunavut are excluded from the Northwest Territories.

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