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Increase in the number of births and average age of mother in 2005

  1. In 2005, a total of 342,176 births were registered in Canada, 5,104 (1.5%) more than in 2004, and the highest annual number since 1998 (342,418 births).
  2. The average age of mothers giving birth in 2005 was 29.2 years, the same as 2004.

Increase in fertility

  1. In 2005, Canada’s total fertility rate (TFR) was 1.54 children per woman, up from 1.53 the previous year, and the highest rate since 1998 (1.54).
  2. The increase in the number of births is largely attributable to rising fertility of women in their thirties.
  3. Women aged 30 to 34 years contributed most with 107,524 (31.4%) births in 2005.
  4. Teen age fertility (woman aged less than 20 years) continued to decline, from 13.7 per 1,000 women in 2004 to 13.4 in 2005. The decline was observed in all provinces except Alberta.

Geographic differences

  1. Six provinces (Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador) and Northwest Territories recorded more births in 2005 than in 2004.
  2. Alberta and Quebec led with increases of 3.3% and 3.1%, respectively.

Echoes of the baby boom generation

  1. In 1947, the TFR was 3.6 children per woman, the highest since 1921. The number of births totaled 372,600 in 1947.
  2. At the height of baby boom in 1959, annual births exceeded 479,000, the highest since Canada-wide comparable vital statistics were first compiled in 1921.
  3. The first baby boom “echo” was expected to start in the mid-1970s, approximately 25 years after the beginning of the baby boom.
  4. But while there was a sizeable increase in the number of births in 1974 and 1975, gains in the following years were relatively modest. Only in the late 1980s (1988 to 1990) was there an important increase in the number of births.
  5. Between 1988 and 1995, Canada experienced a clear baby boom echo as the baby boomers had a large number of births, peaking at 405,486 in 1990.
  6. Thereafter, annual births dropped, falling to 327,882 in 2000, which was less than the lowest number in the baby bust period.
  7. Over the past five years, Canada has seen an upward trend in the number of births, with the mean age of mother at 29 years.

Comparing Canada with other low birth countries

  1. The rising number of births in Canada parallels trends in other low-birth-rate countries, which have also experienced an upturn in fertility in recent years.
  2. In some countries, this upward trend began before 2003: the Czech Republic, Sweden, Spain and France.

Stillbirths and stillbirth rate trends

  1. The number of stillbirths (or fetal deaths) in Canada was 2,209 in 2005, an increase of 143 stillbirths (6.9%) from 2004.
  2. Stillbirth rate also increased from 6.1 per 1,000 total births in 2004 to 6.4 in 2005.
  3. Since 1991, stillbirth rates have fluctuated around 6.0 per 1,000 total births. The lowest rate was 5.6 in 1991, and the highest was 6.4 in both 2004 and 2005.
  4. The late stillbirths (fetal death of 28 or more weeks of gestation) rate peaked at 3.8 per 1,000 in 1992, and has since decreased gradually.

Stillbirth rates vary by geography

  1. Stillbirth rates varied greatly across Canada in 2005, ranging 4.0 per 1,000 total births in Quebec to 11.3 per 1,000 in Nunavut.
  2. Two provinces and two territories had stillbirth rates lower than the Canadian average: Quebec, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan and Yukon.