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Canada's fertility rate reaches an all-time low in 2022

Released: 2024-01-31

The total fertility rate (TFR) observed in Canada in 2022 (1.33 children per woman) is the lowest recorded over more than a century of data. Although the downward trend began in 2009, it accelerated in 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decrease became even more pronounced in 2022, after the TFR posted a slight increase in 2021.

The decline in the TFR observed in Canada from 2021 to 2022 (-7.4%) was the largest since 1971-1972 (-7.6%), at the height of the baby bust that followed the 1946-1965 baby boom, and three years after the contraceptive pill and therapeutic abortion were decriminalized by Bill C-150, passed in 1969.

The sharp drop in fertility from 2021 to 2022 was observed in most (11 out of 13) provinces and territories. Among women aged 20 to 39, this is the biggest decrease since 1978-1979.

The seesaw pattern of Canada's TFR from 2020 to 2022 is comparable to what many other countries experienced over the same period, suggesting that the pandemic may have temporarily disrupted fertility behaviours. In 2022, Canada's TFR (1.33 children per woman) ranked in the middle of the pack of 10 selected high-income countries, including those in the G7, with values ranging from 0.78 children per woman in South Korea to 1.80 children per woman in France. The 7.4% decline in fertility observed in Canada from 2021 to 2022 ranked third among these same countries, after the Netherlands (-8.4%) and Germany (-7.7%).

The article "Fertility in Canada, 1921 to 2022" provides an in-depth analysis of fertility trends in Canada over the past century, including the changes that occurred after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  Note to readers

Data on births in 2022 are considered preliminary due to a shortened data collection period. In addition, 2020 and 2021 data were revised in 2023, and 2022 data will be revised in subsequent releases.

Preliminary birth figures are based on information reported to Statistics Canada by provincial and territorial vital statistics registries.

Data on births from 2017 to 2022 that occurred in Yukon are not available. To avoid confusion, data on births to Yukon residents that occurred in other provinces and territories for the same years were also suppressed.

As a result of delays in birth registrations, fewer births have been captured to date for Manitoba in 2022.

In this article, population estimates by age and sex are used to calculate different types of fertility rates. Postcensal estimates for the years 2016 to 2022 are based on 2016 Census counts, adjusted for census net undercoverage and incompletely enumerated reserves; these were the most up-to-date estimates at the time of writing this article.

The total fertility rate is available from 1921 onward.


The total fertility rate (TFR) is an estimate of the average number of live births a woman can be expected to have in her lifetime, based on the age-specific fertility rates of a given year. The TFR is the sum of the age-specific fertility rates for a given year, divided by 1,000.

The annual percentage change in the TFR is calculated by taking the TFR of a given year and subtracting the TFR of the previous year, then dividing by the previous year's TFR, and finally multiplying by 100.

The G7 countries include, in alphabetical order, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the USA. The other selected high-income countries are South Korea, Spain and the Netherlands. Their data on fertility were obtained from their respective statistical agencies.

More information on a number of fertility indicators are available in tables 13-10-0417-01 and 13-10-0418-01. To help users understand these indicators, they are also presented in the Fertility indicators, provinces and territories: Interactive dashboard visualization tool.


The publication entitled "Fertility in Canada, 1921 to 2022" (Catalogue number91F0015M) is now available.

Contact information

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