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Canada's birth rate has hit an all-time low [CA]

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Pfeffer, Amanda (Reporter)
Publication Date: 
19 Apr 2004

See text below.


Transcript: Peter Mansbridge (host)

Canada's birth rate has hit an all-time low. According to the latest numbers released by Statistics Canada between 1992 and 2002, the birth rate dropped by more than 25%. At the same time, the average age of women having babies has gone up. Amanda Pfeffer has the story.

Amanda Pfeffer (reporter):

Nancy Abergel and her family is bucking another trend. This is their second baby and, according to Statistics Canada, the Canadian average is 1.5 babies per family, a drop of 25% in the last ten years. Quebec and Ontario counted for the vast majority of the total decline. Compare statistics between 2001 and 2002, Quebec dropped 1.7%, and Ontario went down 2.4%. In fact, every single province went down except Alberta, up for the fourth year in a row. That province is also enjoying the country's strongest economy. In Calgary, Angela Niwa had three children, including nine-month-old Mireille. Her friends are also going for larger families.

In the rest of the country, family advocates blame the declining birth rate on the economic challenges of family life. Women having babies at a later age than ever before, inadequate day care, time off, and secure work.

Nancy Abergel and her family know all about the challenges. Their first child is still on a two-year waiting list for day care. It may not be easy now, but this family is hoping to have a third child, hoping to buck the trend once again.

- reprinted from CBC The National